Kashmir Council Meeting: Struggle Of Kashmiris Is Not Terrorism, Says Pakistan PM

20 November 2014
Express Tribune

Muzaffarabad: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday accused India of abandoning peace talks and resorting to aggression that torpedoed the cause of regional peace. 'India was not reciprocating positively to Pakistan's efforts for a lasting peace in the region,' he said addressing the annual meeting of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Council. PM Nawaz regretted that New Delhi suspended the foreign-secretary level talks which dented the peace process. The Kashmir dispute needs to be settled through dialogue, he said. He pledged that Pakistan will continue to extend moral, political and diplomatic support to the people of Kashmir for their right to self-determination. Terrorism The premier made it clear that Pakistan is against terrorism and strongly rejected Indian allegations of harbouring terrorists saying, 'We are the biggest victims of terrorism.' However, Nawaz said, India is resorting to state terrorism in held Kashmir. 'The struggle of Kashmiris is not terrorism, but the way they are being crushed is terrorism. We, the people of Pakistan, are with the people of Jammu and Kashmir till the achievement of their right to self-determination,' Prime Minister Nawaz added. The premier expressed his concerns over the silence of United Nations and the rest of the international community on Jammu and Kashmir dispute. He urged the world to come forward and settle the longstanding issue as per the UN Security Council's resolutions and the wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Nawaz said that Jammu and Kashmir dispute cannot be settled by use of force. He said Pakistan considers All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) as a true representative forum of the people of the Indian administered Kashmir and APHC leaders would be consulted in future negotiations on Kashmir. The prime minister condemned the ceasefire violation on the Line of Control by the Indian forces. He said that Pakistan is not a safe haven for terrorists, but India keeps issuing such statements to hide its negative role in the region. He said economic prosperity was linked to peace and Pakistan believed that the issue of Kashmir should be resolved through dialogue in accordance with the resolutions of UN Security Council. Supporting AJK development PM Nawaz said that the government of Pakistan has provided massive development funds to the AJK government. Despite financial constraints, he said Pakistan was working on 12 energy projects including over 969 megawatt Neelum-Jhelum project and Raj Thani project of 100 MW at Poonch River in Kotli district. He said a long-term roadmap for AJK has been prepared in communication, energy, tourism and agriculture sectors to be materialised in 20 years. He mentioned Gulpur project at Poonch River and 147 MW Patrand project at Kunhar River were underway. He said the feasibility of Islamabad-Muzaffarabad railway track would be finalised by December and the project would be completed in two years. Earlier Chief Secretary AJK briefed the prime minister about the development projects in AJK. It was informed that the recent heavy rains damaged 28,000 buildings. The meeting was also updated about the rehabilitation and reconstruction phases after the 2005 earthquake. Besides the Kashmir Council meeting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz AJK delegation who briefed him in detail about corruption and poor performance of the AJK government. Meanwhile, members of civil society and earthquake victims of 2005 staged a demonstration in Upper Adda on the arrival of PM Nawaz to record their protest against the delay in quake-zone reconstruction. The protesters urged the PM to give them back their money that was provided by the world during the Pervez Musharraf regime for the earthquake victims.