Forthcoming PaK elections will have direct bearing on K-issue: Mahmood
Muzaffarabad, Feb 8: Former Prime Minister of Pakistan administered Kashmir Barrister Sultan Mahmood on Tuesday said the forthcoming general elections to the region’s Legislative Assembly would have a direct bearing on Kashmir issue.
“For us, the freedom movement is of paramount interest and a free, fair and impartial electoral exercise in our part will strengthen our case on Kashmir,” Mahmood said during an exclusive interview with Greater Kashmir here.
“It is our earnest desire to see that next elections are held in a completely free, fair and transparent manner, regardless of the results, and I will try that international observers and human rights organizations visit us and monitor the process,” he added.
Mahmood, who was recently appointed by the PPP leadership as in-charge of party’s ‘election cell’ for PaK, asserted that President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had also expressed their full support to his stance.
“I am sure our party (PPP) will sail through the fair and free elections and form the next government,” he said.
It may be recalled that the previous two general elections in PaK were held in the months of July but it’s widely believed that the upcoming polls would be conducted in the last week of May in order to let the next government prepare and pass the 2011-12 budget.
Mahmood alleged that the July 2006 elections were widely rigged by the then military ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf to accomplish his “division of Kashmir agenda” through his handpicked government in Muzaffarabad.
In this regard, while citing a statement of former foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri that a (secret) pact on settlement of Kashmir issue was just signature away, he however added that the move could not be actualized due to the judicial crises in Pakistan.
“There must be credibility of the assembly or else we will weaken our stand on Kashmir issue,” he said, adding, Kashmiri political parties will shortly sit together to devise a ‘code of conduct’ to achieve this goal.
However, Mahmood was very cautious when asked if the PaK premier also needed to be empowered through amendments in the region’s interim constitution, commonly referred to as Act 1974.
“Act 1974 was formulated in consensus with all Kashmiri political parties. If any amendments are to be introduced, it should be done with similar unanimity.”
Regarding the Kashmiris’ struggle for right to self determination, he said after 9/11 India had tried to portray it as a “terrorist movement.”
“Some nations did fall for the Indian propaganda but the latest peaceful, nonviolent and widespread movement in Kashmir has literally torn India’s false campaign apart,” he said.“The international environment is turning in the favour of Kashmiris. The world is fully realizing that their struggle is purely indigenous movement for emancipation and this will pay us dividends very soon,” he said.
Mahmood said it was high time the Pakistan government made it clear to the world community that unless its eastern borders were strengthened it could not support them along its western borders.
“I think Pakistan has already conveyed this message to the US which is why we see ups and downs in our relations with Washington. It’s a good strategy and must be carried forward (by Pakistan),” he said.
*PPP will sail through if elections are fair
* Musharaf regime rigged July 2006 elections
*Incredible Assembly will weaken our stand on Kashmir
*International community supports Kashmiris
Lastupdate on : Tue, 8 Feb 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 8 Feb 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 9 Feb 2011 00:00:00 IST
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