Barrister Sultan Choudary for demilitarization of Kashmir, PaK
‘Can Move Beyond UN Resolutions On K-Dispute’
Srinagar, Sep 18: Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Administered Kashmir and leader of ruling Pakistan Peoples Party [PPP] Barrister Sultan Mehmood Choudary Sunday demanded demilitarization of both sides of Line of Control “for facilitating hassle-free movement of Kashmiris.” He said “we are ready to move beyond United Nations resolutions on Kashmir.”
Sultan, a first high-profile politician from PAK to visit the Valley in the past 64 years, said it would have been better had there been unity among the ranks of separatists in Kashmir.
Talking to Greater Kashmir here after arriving from New Delhi, Sultan, who is also a legislator from Mirpur constituency in PAK, said “demilitarization of both Kashmir’s will facilitate the resolution of Kashmir issue as it will provide a chance for a people-to people contact.”
“The restrictions should be eased out. For this, the first thing is that forces on the Line of Control should be withdrawn,” he said, adding that “there is not much presence of forces on our side.”
Pitching for an intra-Kashmir dialogue, the PPP leader said that Kashmiris should be allowed to meet each other in Srinagar, Muzaffarabad and Jammu as “they can become a bridge between both the two countries.”
“The intra Kashmir conference can also be good for dialogue between both Kashmir’s. Talks between India and Pakistan are okay, but at the same time Kashmir-specific Confidence Building Measures should be initiated for creating conducive atmosphere for the resolution of [Kashmir] dispute. My trip is also a small CBM,” he said.
Asserting that the existing CBMs on trade and travel are ‘nominal’, Sultan said that hurdles in the cross LOC trade and movement should be removed at an earliest.
Terming the UN resolutions as a base for the settlement of Kashmir issue, he said they are ready to move beyond this base.
“We need to accommodate each others ideas. But for this dialogue between both parts is must,” he said.
He added that Kashmir issue needs to be addressed according to the “will and aspirations” of its masses.
ON UNITY AMONG SEPARATISTS
Barrister Sultan said “it would have been better had there been unity among the pro-freedom leadership in Kashmir.”
“There can be a difference of opinion in democracy. They [separatists] are not only leaders of Kashmir but also our leaders,” he said. “They also suffered during the past 20 years.”
The PPP leader said the separatist leadership in Kashmir is indigenous and “not thrust by Pakistan.”
“We know only few people like Muhammad Yasin Malik, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq among the pro-freedom camp,” he said, replying to a question on ‘overcrowded separatist leadership in Kashmir.’
ON KASHMIR AGITATION
The PPP leader said that peaceful agitation in Kashmir in the past three years has proved that their movement is not sponsored from across the border.
“After lakhs of Kashmiris came on roads, the entire world is stressing on resolution of Kashmir issue,” he said.
ON MUSHARRAF’S 4-POINT FORMULA
Barrister Chouhdary said he partly supports the four-point formula proposed by the former Pakistan president Parvez Musharraf for the resolution of Kashmir issue.
“I support his points of demilitarization and right to passage but other ideas envisaged in the concept like joint management and self governance are tricky. They are aimed to change LOC into international border,” he said.
Asked whether PPP led government is toeing Musharraf’s line on Kashmir, he said “there is no question of reverting back to his policy on the dispute.”
“Our government has not proposed any idea like his four point plan of Kashmir,” he added.
The PPP leader dismissed the reports about the protests against the militants in Neelum Valley of PAK.
“Actually the protest was held against ceasefire violation by India forces in which three Pakistani soldiers were killed,” he said.
He said India is raking up militancy issue to divert the attention of world from Kashmir issue. “I don’t see militancy in Kashmir,” he added.
‘YASIN MY FRIEND’
Accompanied by JKLF chief Muhammad Yasin Malik, Barrister Sultan traveled through the entire Srinagar city and visited Hazratbal Shrine, Martyrs Graveyard here , Royal Springs Golf Course and Hotel Taj Vivanta.
Calling Malik as his friend, he said he had rendered immense sacrifice for the ongoing movement.
“I share personal rapport with him. Our relationship is beyond politics,” he said.
Barrister Sultan said he was mesmerized by the natural beauty of Kashmir.
“It is more beautiful than I had expected. The only difference between this Kashmir and other Kashmir is that we don’t have Dal Lake, Mughal Gardens.”
‘CM DIDN’T FACILITATE MY VISIT’
Sultan said Chief Minister Omar Abdullah did not facilitate his visit to the Kashmir.
“There is no truth in it. I have come to attend marriage of my friend’s son here,” he said, adding that there is possibility he might meet other leaders also during the trip.
“I have not scheduled program with them,” he said.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 18 Sep 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 18 Sep 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 19 Sep 2011 00:00:00 IST
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