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February 3, 2019

National leadership unanimous on Kashmir issue, says Zardari

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February 3, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The national and the Kashmiri political leadership said they were united on the core issue of Kashmir between Pakistan and India that has always been damaged by the dictators. They were speaking at the National Consultation Conference on Kashmir here on Saturday .

The conference was organised by Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) chief Fazlur Rehman. The former president and PPPP President Asif Ali Zardari, JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman, AJK President Sardar Masood Khan and Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider, Opposition Leader in the Senate Raja Zafarul Haq, Secretary General Jamaat-e-Islami Liaquat Baloch, Ansarul Ummah head Maulana Fazlur Rehman Khalil, MQM chief and Minister for Science and Technology Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Kashmir Liberation Front’s Abdul Majeed Malik, ex-chairman Senate Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari, Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Yousaf Naseem, Maulana Owais Noorani, Vice President MMA Syed Sajid Hussain Naqvi and others attended the conference.

The leaders condemned the brutalities on the innocent Kashmiris in the Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) at the hands of the occupation forces and decried the silence of the international community. Speaking on the occasion, Zardari said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi should know the Pakistanis will never forget Kashmir and will never abandon the freedom struggle.

“Despite differences, we all are united on the Kashmir issue and have the same stance,” he said. “Kashmir is in our foundation and in our DNA, as we are from Kashmir and with Kashmir. Today, an Indian soldier stands guard on every four foot of the IHK. Only those nations get freedom who struggle for it,” he said. Zardari said the PPP founder and former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had talked with Indira Gandhi on the Kashmir issue. “Modi should know that the opinion of the people on the Kashmir issue dovetails with that of the Government of Pakistan. Kashmir issue has suffered a lot due to dictatorship,” he said. “Every house in Kashmir has a martyr and many have lost their eyes. The sacrifices of Kashmiris will never be forgotten,” he said. Zardari said there is a need to rise above politics and play role for the resolution of Kashmir issue.

The JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman said he remained the Kashmir Committee's chairman for a long time and saw governments closely but he did not see any ruler as nonchalant and apathetic on the Kashmir issue as the present ones. “We should warn the rulers to change their attitude towards the Kashmir issue,” he said. He said after 9/11 genuine freedom movements were branded as terrorism and nowadays Kashmir and Palestine freedom movements are being termed as terrorist movements. The Opposition Leader in the Senate Raja Zafarul Haq said Kashmiris are a target of state terrorism of India. “There is a need to convene a similar conference in Muzaffarabad where Kashmiris would speak. The people of Kashmir must be accepted as the main party to the Kashmir issue,” he said.

The President AJK, Sardar Masood Khan, said the purpose of observing the solidarity day with the Kashmiris is to highlight the Indian occupation of Kashmir. “There was a holocaust in Kashmir in 1947 and since then 237,000 Kashmiris were martyred by the Indian security forces while thousands of women have been raped and over 6000 Kashmiris have lost their eyes so far,” he said. He said the people of Pakistan have always stood with the people of Kashmir. He said if the rulers tried to change their stance on the resolution of Kashmir issue then the people will not allow them, as Kashmiris themselves have to decide their future. The AJK president said the international narrative is changing and the Human Rights Council of the United Nations has listed the Indian crimes and even the British Parliamentary Group has recommended imposing economic sanctions on India. “There is the need to enhance our access in the UN Security Council, General Council, and Human Rights Council of the United National to raise the issue of Kashmir in the scenario of the changing international narratives,” Haq said. “Instead of presenting out-of-box solution, we have to give a major role to the Kashmiris.”

The Prime Minister AJK, Raja Farooq Haider, said the four-point formula of former military dictator General (retd) Pervez Musharraf dealt a deadly blow to the cause of Kashmir. He said the Kashmir issue was affected by the political conflicts and except three political parties, no other political party has included it in their manifestos. “Let’s make Azad Kashmir the base camp and make a Kashmir policy,” he said.

The Jamaat-e-Islami's Liaquat Baloch, stressed the need for highlighting the Kashmir issue and said priorities be fixed to present the future line of action on the core issue before the nation. “Such kind of conferences could assist in formulation of a policy but it seems Kashmir issue is not on the priority list of the present government,” he said. He said instead of addressing the UN General Assembly Prime Minister Imran Khan had sent Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi for the address that had sent a negative message to the people of Kashmir. He said the Parliament and the government have played no role in the resolution of Kashmir issue and the opening of Kartarpura border has created doubts. “India always sabotages the dialogue process and is not ready to accept Kashmir as the major party to the issue,” he said.

The PPP's Nayyer Hussain Bokhari said internal stability is must for the resolution of the Kashmir issue. He said the government has not constituted the standing committees including the Kashmir Committee of Parliament. The MMA Vice President Allama Syed Sajid Naqvi said those who have to resolve the Kashmir issue have simply paid no attention. Maulana Owais Noorani called for holding a similar conference in Muzaffarabad for expressing solidarity with the people of Kashmir.

The MQM's Khaild Maqbool Siddiqui said there is no secularism in India after Modi came into power and now the extremists are ruling the country. He said Kashmiri youth like Burhanuddin Wani were fighting for Pakistan.

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