Monday February 06, 2023

Kashmir and Pakistan inseparable: AJK president

July 31, 2021

MUZAFFARABAD: Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan Friday said Kashmiris were determined to carry on their struggle until they liberate their territory from India and make it part of Pakistan as per their natural and political desire.

"The Kashmiri people have sacrificed hundreds of thousands of lives because Kashmir is an integral part of Pakistan and Kashmiris consider themselves as Pakistanis. Kashmir and Pakistan cannot be separated from each other," he declared.

Speaking as the chief guest at the launching ceremony of diplomat Arif Kamal's book titled "Reminiscences of my wanderings" here at the University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, he noted that despite facing numerous difficulties, including Indian and global pressure, and disintegration, Pakistan had not changed its principled stand on Kashmir.

About talks with India, the state president said the bilateral negotiations did not succeed in the past because of India. The first objective of the exercise was to consolidate its hold on occupied Kashmir. "During these negotiations, India had been attempting to seek the endorsement of its occupation of Kashmir or to maintain at least the status quo," he said, adding that India had never considered the stand of Pakistan and the Kashmiri people and it had always made a bid to keep the Kashmiris out of every diplomatic process.

Sardar Masood said Pakistan had always desired to involve the Kashmiri people in the diplomatic process. He suggested that whatever initiative is taken on Kashmir in future, should be through trilateral arrangements or the international community and for this purpose, the genuine representatives of the Kashmiri people, whether they are from occupied Kashmir or Azad Kashmir, should be made sit on the negotiating table.

Commenting on the book of Arif Kamal, the AJK president said that when a diplomat performs his duties abroad, he is not an individual but the whole country he represents, and this can be seen in the book also.

Director General Institute of Strategic Studies and former secretary Foreign Affairs Aizaz Chaudhry said the revival of Hindutva doctrine by Narendra Modi after coming to power, is proof that the Two-Nation Theory of our elders before the creation of Pakistan was justified. He lamented that the recent visit of the pro-India Kashmiri politicians to Delhi had divided the voice of the Kashmiri people, thereby hurting the Kashmir cause.

Vice-Chancellor University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prof Dr Kalim Abbasi said on the instructions of the state president, the University was establishing a special centre under the Institute of Kashmir Studies in order to carry forward research on Kashmir. He said the University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir organised the book launch of Arif Kamal as an effort to restore our students’ broken relationship with books.

Quoting a famous dictum, “A reading nation is a leading nation”, the VC expressed his dismay over the rapid decline of reading habit in our society and said it is evident from the low attendance in our public and private libraries.

The ceremony was also addressed among others by Chairman Senate Foreign Affairs Committee Mushahid Hussain Syed, former secretary foreign affairs Shamshad Ahmed, journalist Ijaz Haider, Prof Dr Nazir Ahmed and former secretary AJK government Akram Sohail.