- AJK president welcomes UN report’s recommendation of sending an inquiry commission to both sides of Line of Control
LAHORE: Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) President Masood Khan has said that Kashmir is a tripartite issue, as recognised by the UN Security Council resolutions.
“Kashmiris are a key party to the dispute because they are the ones who have to take a decision in regard to their political future,” he said in an exclusive interview with Pakistan Today at Governor’s House. He said that Kashmir was a political issue and required a political approach.
He also advocated dialogue for the resolution of the conflict. “Kashmir is a political issue and India must change its existing military approach of suppressing Kashmiris through state terrorism to a political one,” he said.
“We must remember that dialogue is the need of the hour and Pakistan and the Kashmiri people have always supported an uninterrupted dialogue process.” He said that Islamabad and New Delhi must include the Kashmiris in the dialogue process in one form or the other.
“We support the resumption of the dialogue process between Pakistan and India on Kashmir. We know that resolving the Kashmir issue is imperative for lasting peace in the region. Islamabad and New Delhi must also find ways to involve Kashmiris in the dialogue process,” Masood said. He said that the prime minister and the foreign minister, after assumption of their offices, had issued clear statements on the Kashmir issue.
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He said that during his meetings with Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, they had reiterated their strong resolve that Pakistan would continue to provide moral, diplomatic and political support to the Kashmiri people for attaining their just right to self-determination.
“During recent meetings in Islamabad, Prime Minister Khan and Foreign Minister Qureshi said that Islamabad would continue to provide moral, political and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people for attaining their just right to self-determination and had urged the international community to play its role to put an end to the human rights violations and atrocities in Kashmir,” he said.
Responding to a question, he said that in all probability the people of Pakistan and Kashmiris would not have supported the four-point formula which was discussed by former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf with India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, had it been unveiled at that time.
“Collectively and historically, our preferred solution for the Kashmir issue is the one prescribed by the UN Security Council, but any formula on Kashmir requires full consultation with all parties and stakeholders, and endorsement of Pakistan, India and Kashmiris, as well as the United Nations,” he said.
It is worth mentioning here that in a recent television interview, former foreign minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri had said that the government would follow a modified form of Musharraf’s four-point formula to resolve the Kashmir issue because Prime Minister Khan was convinced that the formula would be a ‘backbone’ to future dialogue processes.
When asked to comment on this statement, the president said that he would not like to speculate on this unless something concrete was presented; and added that the historic United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions on Kashmir have sanctity for Pakistan and the Kashmiri people. He also talked about the different phases of the Kashmir cause.
He said that unarmed people were being brutalised and tortured on a daily basis simply because they were demanding an end to the oppressive rule of the occupation forces. Responding to a question, he called the recently-released report on Kashmir by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights an eye-opener.
He said that the most important recommendation of the report was a call to India to respect the right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people which it said was protected under international law. The Kashmiri leader also welcomed the report’s recommendation of sending a Commission of Inquiry to both sides of the Line of Control (LoC).
“Despite 70 years of oppression, the Kashmiris are still resisting the occupation and have not accepted themselves as part of India,” he said. “The proposed Commission of Inquiry can independently ascertain and establish human rights violations and crimes against humanity being perpetrated in the Occupied Kashmir,” he said.
“We must make efforts to make Pakistan a strong country because that would guarantee effective advocacy of the Kashmir cause,” The Kashmiri leader concluded.