PAKISTAN REAFFIRMS SUPPORT TO KASHMIRIS
Shabir Shah Addresses JuD Rally
NISAR THOKAR/TARIQ NAQASH
Islamabad/Muzaffarabad, Feb 5: Pakistan’s top leadership has re-affirmed its support for the people of Kashmir, saying confidence-building measures initiated with India should lead to the resolution of the dispute.
In messages issued on the occasion of “Kashmir Solidarity Day” observed on February 5 every year, President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf reiterated Pakistan’s political, moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people.
“On this day, we pay tributes to the valiant struggle of our Kashmiri brethren and assure them that Pakistan remains firmly committed to finding a just and peaceful solution to the dispute,” Zardari said in his message which was read out to the special joint sitting of PaK Legislative Assembly and PaK Council.
“Kashmiris have remained resolute and steadfast in the face of oppression spanning over more than six decades. Pakistan believes that the use of force, coercion and violation of basic human rights can never succeed in suppressing an indigenous struggle for a just cause. The perseverance of Kashmiris will bear fruit,” added the President.
Separately, Prime Minister Ashraf expressed almost similar views in his message that was also read on the occasion. “On behalf of the government and the people of Pakistan, I reaffirm Pakistan’s firm commitment to a just and peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people and the protection of their fundamental rights,” PM Ashraf said.
“It demonstrates our commitment to support the just cause of the Kashmiri people,” he added. Both messages were read out by deputy speaker Shaheen Kausar Dar, who chaired the session while speaker Sardar Ghulam Sadiq sat beside her as acting PaK President in the absence of President Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan.
“Thousands of Kashmiris have laid down their lives. Atrocities and humiliations cannot deter them from a cause based on their legitimate aspirations for right to self determination as enshrined in the UN Charter and UNSC Resolutions,” PM Ashraf said.
He vowed that the government of Pakistan would continue to extend its unwavering political, moral and diplomatic support to the just cause of the Kashmiri people to safeguard their right to self-determination.
Pakistan, he said, had always supported dialogue with India and initiated CBMs (confidence building measures) in good faith and anticipation that the same would mitigate the sufferings of Kashmiri people.
“We also hope that the CBMs would lead to the resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people,” he said.
After reading of both messages, leader of the opposition Raja Farooq Haider took the floor and regretted that the president or the prime minister of Pakistan did not visit Muzaffarabad to express solidarity with the struggling Kashmiris.
Any of the two must have come here so that not only we could speak out our hearts before him but also a real solidarity message would have gone across the dividing line, he said.
The outspoken leader said he considered himself a Pakistani by conviction but not a “peasant of anyone.”
“I was dubbed as a separatist. But, I am least bothered about it. Let them say so for 50 times but I won’t give up seeking the rights of Kashmiris,” he said.
He vehemently criticized federal Kashmir affairs minister Manzoor Wattoo for “squandering resources of the PaK Council for election purposes” and asked the ruling party to play its role in stoppage of the injustices on the part of federal minister.
In his brief address, Prime Minister Majeed expressed gratitude to the people and the government of Pakistan for observing solidarity with the Kashmiris, which in turn injected more strength among them.
He claimed that Prime Minister of Pakistan was scheduled to address the joint sitting, but his visit was hindered by the inclement weather.
Acting PaK President also addressed the special sitting before it was prorogued sine die.
Meanwhile, public rallies, seminars and symposiums were held all across Pakistan to highlight the “sufferings of Kashmiri people,” whereas one minute silence was observed at 10:00 am to pay homage to Kashmiri martyrs who laid down their lives during the ongoing resistance movement.
In this connection, Jammat-u-Dawa in collaboration with other religious organizations organized a solidarity rally in Islamabad. Despite bad weather and incessant rains a large number of people joined the rally.
Addressing the rally through phone from Srinagar, senior Hurriyat leader and the chairman of Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) Shabir Ahmed Shah thanked the organizers as well as the people of Pakistan for observing Kashmir day. He also expressed gratitude to the government of Pakistan for extending diplomatic, moral and political support to Kashmir cause. While hailing Pakistan’s role Shah maintained that the country’s role regarding the Kashmiris’ ongoing struggle was historic.
Highlighting the sacrifices of Kashmiri nation Shah said, “Since 1947, India unleashed unprecedented human rights violations in Kashmir”. He said that despite “repressive tactics” India could not subdue the political resolve of Kashmiri nation. He reiterated that the struggle for right to self-determination would continue till the people of Kashmir achieve their legitimate goal.
Speaking on the occasion former member of Pakistan National Assembly Mian Muhammad Aslam, deputy chairman of United Jihad Council (UJC) Muhammad Usman and Jammat-u-Dawa leader Col (retired) Nazir Ahmed said that the observance of the day at national level amply demonstrates Pakistani peoples’ unflinching faith and commitment towards the cause. “Lending a helping hand to our Kashmiri brethren is our religious duty”, Nazir said. Regarding international community’s indifference towards Kashmir he said that the world powers took a prompt action in Sudan but failed to implement the long-pending UN resolutions on Kashmir.
The speakers said that Indo-Pak friendship was not possible sans Kashmir resolution. Meanwhile, a function was also held at Kohala Bridge that links Pakistan with Kashmir. The function was attended by a large number of people including the representatives of political, religious and civil society organizations. The participants of the rally formed a human chain on the occasion.
Similar functions and public rallies were organized in Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and other main cities and towns of Pakistan as well as in the capital city Muzaffarabad and other district headquarters of PaK including Rawalakote, Bagh, Kotli, Bhimber and Mirpur.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 5 Feb 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 5 Feb 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 6 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST
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