Repeated Dictatorship Damaged Kashmir Cause: Sultan22 July 2011
The News International
Lahore: FORMER Prime Minister of Azad Jammu Kashmir and PPP leader Barrister Sultan Mehmood said repeated dictatorships in Pakistan caused dents in the peaceful settlement of Kashmir issue. He also asserted that not Afghanistan but Kashmir is the real matter pertaining to the region. “There has been multiple reasons in the delay of the settlement of Kashmir issue but one of the major reason behind it was the dictatorial regimes of Pakistan, which caused enormous damage to the issue,” said Barrister Sultan Mehmood in an exclusive interview with The News. Sultan Mehmood is also one of the hot contestants for the slot of prime ministership of AJK to be elected on June 26 said the four pronged policy of Gen Pervez Musharraf was also unsuccessful and didn’t catch the interest of Kashmiris. Moreover, he added that relying on foreign powers and UN also proved another factor for the non settlement of the problems and added that silence of major nations over violence in Kashmir by India was really unfortunate. To a question over the statement of PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto that we will fight a thousand years if needed for Kashmir, Barrister Sultan Mehmood replied PPP’s policy had been very clear and believed that rights of Kashmiris should be given to them as per the UN resolutions. He added that Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto pleaded the case of Kashmir well and fighting for thousand years didn’t mean ‘aggression or assault’ but not to budge from the principled stance of Kashmir. He added that still the PPP government was making diplomatic efforts and would continue to remain firm on its stance. To a question about the recent arrest of a Kashmiri leader Ghulam Nabi Fai in USA, Sultan Mehmood stated that champions of human rights’ must take notice of this. He said it was really unfortunate that a leader like Ghulam Nabi Fai, who had been busy in fighting the case of Kashmiris diplomatically, was arrested on false charges. “I protest against this act, Fai must be released immediately and his arrest isn’t justified,” said the former AJK PM. To another question that who would be the next PM of AJK, he said it was up to the PPP Co Chairman Asif Ali Zardari to decide. To a question over the charges of rigging on PPP’s victory in the AJK polls, he said all such charges were baseless as the reality was different. He said in fact, PPP wasn’t only the strongest political force of AJK due to public support but the split in the factions of Muslim Leagues also another region which paved the way for PPP lead. In past, he said, there had also been a time when PPP was divided into two ranks and couldn’t form power. “The charges of rigging are not true” said he. To a question why he quitted PPP in past and rejoined it later, Barrister Sultan replied in a democratic culture, differences could appear but they could also be sorted out.