Barrister Sultan for intra-Kashmir dialogue
‘There Should Be No Restrictions On Cross-LoC Trade, Travel’
NISAR A THOKAR
Islamabad, Sep 22: Former Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) prime minister, Barrister Sultan Mehmood Choudhary Thursday said intra-Kashmir dialogue was a prerequisite to let Kashmiri leadership on both sides to share their wisdom and forge broad-based consensus on the issue.
Addressing a press conference here on his return from the Valley, the former PaK premier expressed complete satisfaction over his visit and said he held interactions with separatist leaders including Syed Ali Shah Gilani, JKLF chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik, DFP president Shabir Ahmed Shah and representatives of the traders’ community. He said he was accorded warm welcome by the people at historic Lal Chowk, which he said was reflective of the Kashmiri peoples’ affection for PaK and Pakistan.
Regarding the settlement of Kashmir imbroglio, Barrister Sultan said there was a complete consensus within the leadership of Kashmir that the UN resolutions provide strong basis for resolving the long-pending Kashmir dispute.
“I met Kashmiri leaders of various shades and opinion and there is consensus and a common desire that Kashmir issue should be solved in line with UN resolutions keeping in view the aspirations of people who have rendered huge sacrifices,” he said and added that during his meetings with Kashmiri leaders he assured full support to them on behalf of people ad the government of Pakistan and PaK.
"Syed Ali Shah Geelani has his views and wants (Jammu and Kashmir) to join Pakistan. I told him that status quo does not suit us. Things should start moving and rolling," he said.
Choudhary said he had stated his position after Geelani reiterated his stance that Pakistan should hold talks with India on issues like boosting trade only after the resolution of the Kashmir issue.
Replying to a query Sultan said he did not consider Omar Abdullah as the representative of Kashmiri people. “This is the reason that I did not invite him to visit PaK”, he said adding “for us APHC is the true representative forum of Kashmiris’ aspirations”.
Choudhary said he was impressed with what he saw in Jammu and Kashmir.
"The truth is there has been more development on that (Jammu and Kashmir) side. It is very beautiful and I visited a golf course and a trout fishing farm. I have seen those things and we should take steps to implement similar measures here," he said.
Choudhary had gone to Srinagar to attend the wedding of a friend's son.
Regarding the Kashmir-centric CBMs, he said these were not sufficient. “People should be allowed to travel freely across the Line of Control”, he added.
He called for more confidence-building measures and relaxation of regulations governing travel between the two parts of Kashmir.
"More steps should be taken to boost trade, including the formation of joint chamber of commerce," he said.
A joint chamber of commerce could address the problems of traders on both sides and facilitate their movement across the Line of Control, he suggested.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 22 Sep 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 22 Sep 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 23 Sep 2011 00:00:00 IST
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