‘Pakistan for permanent solution to Kashmir issue’
REZAUL H LASKAR
Islamabad, Dec 20: Pakistan wants a “sustained and result-oriented” engagement with India to find a permanent solution to the Kashmir issue that could usher in peace and stability in the region, President Asif Ali Zardari told a visiting Hurriyat delegation on Thursday.
“Pakistan firmly believes in a meaningful, sustained and result-oriented process of engagement with India that could lead to a permanent solution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with aspirations of its people,” Zardari said during a meeting with the leaders of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference in Karachi.
Finding an “amicable and just solution” to all outstanding issues, including Kashmir, is "important for Pakistan and India to ensure lasting peace, stability and development in the region", Zardari said.
Zardari has been camping in Karachi to oversee preparations by the ruling Pakistan People's Party to mark the upcoming death anniversary of former premier Benazir Bhutto and the Hurriyat delegation led by Miwaiz Umar Farooq travelled to the southern port city after a series of meetings with top political leaders in Islamabad.
During the meeting, Zardari reiterated Pakistan's resolve to "continue extending all political, moral and diplomatic support" to Kashmiris' demand for their "legitimate right".
Zardari recalled his meeting with Farooq on sidelines of UN General Assembly in New York in September and termed Pakistan's engagement with Hurriyat as a positive development.
He urged the world community to "focus its attention towards the troubles of Kashmiri people".
Zardari's son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who is expected to lead PPP's campaign for next general election, was present during the meeting, also attended by Kashmir Affairs Minister Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo and Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani.
NISAR THOKAR ADDS FROM ISLAMABAD
Foreign Minister of Pakistan Hina Rubbani Khar Thursday said the country was “committed to a just and peaceful settlement of Kashmir dispute in line with the UN resolutions and the wishes and aspirations of the Kashmiri people.”
Khar made the remarks while talking to the visiting Hurriyat (M) delegates who called on her here at the Foreign Office late yesterday.
Khar said Pakistan had always emphasized that Kashmiris should be associated with the ongoing dialogue process between India and Pakistan.
Welcoming the visiting delegation, she appreciated the role of APHC in Kashmiris’ ongoing struggle and reassured them on the country’s “unwavering support to the Kashmir cause.”
“The Finance Minister lauded the sacrifices made by Kashmiris in their legitimate, peaceful and indigenous struggle,” said a statement issued by the Pakistan Foreign Office.
Khar made it clear that the problem in Kashmir could not be ignored and that it needed to be addressed in accordance with the wishes of the people. “She also expressed concern at the widespread human rights violations in Kashmir,” the statement added.
The visiting leaders said that Kashmiris were not averse to the dialogue process between the two countries. They, however, said that Kashmiris’ inclusion in the dialogue process was imperative to bring about a peaceful solution of the issue.
With a view to facilitate Kashmiris on both sides of the LoC, sources told Greater Kashmir that the APHC leaders during the meeting proposed new suggestions to strengthen the trans-LoC CBMs. They also urged the government of Pakistan to redouble its diplomatic efforts at international level to seek early solution of Kashmir issue.
The APHC also leaders thanked the Foreign Minister for inviting them to Pakistan for consultations. They also thanked the Government and the people of Pakistan for “their support to Kashmiris’ struggle for right to self determination.”
Meanwhile, the APHC delegates left for Karachi early this morning. They also visited the Mausoleum of Qaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and offered Fateha at his graveyard.
The delegation paid a visit to MQM headquarters, also known as Nine Zero. The Kashmiri leaders were accorded warm welcome by the leaders of Muthida Quomi Movement. Besides leaders of the Party, a large number of Kashmiri migrants were present on the occasion. The MQM also hosted a luncheon in honour of the leaders.
Speaking on the occasion, the MQM leaders assured Hurriyat leaders of their full support to Kashmiris’ struggle for right to self-determination. The MQM chief Altaf Hussain also talked to Kashmiri leaders on phone from London.
Hussain told the Hurriyat leaders that he would write a memorandum to the UN Secretary Ban Ki Moon to seek his attention towards the Kashmir problem.
During their stay in Karachi, the APHC (M) leaders are scheduled to meet Asif Ali Zardari the Pakistan President and the co-chairman of Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP).
Lastupdate on : Thu, 20 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 20 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 21 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST
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