Calling state assembly as "the only elected body in the state", the Peoples Democratic Party Sunday termed the Pakistan's decision to not invite the J&K Assembly Speaker for the upcoming Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Islamabad as "unacceptable."
Education Minister Naeem Akhter said the party doesn't agree with the stand taken by Pakistan. "We are the only elected representatives of the people and it is our right to participate in such conferences," said Akhter. "Pakistan's decision is an unfortunate one and it is unacceptable for us."
Without naming separatists, Akhter said: "There are other people but they just represent an idea and they have just another point of view. On the other hand, we have a democratically elected character which nobody else has."
Akhter was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a seminar here. He said the government disapproves the stand taken by Pakistan on this issue. "We are here as we bagged 80 percent votes from people; nobody can doubt that," said Akhter. "There is an Indian Point of View, Pakistan's Point of View and our Point of View on Kashmir issue. But within this entire debate we stand tall as the elected leaders."
When informed that Pakistan has cited disputed nature of Kashmir for not inviting the JK Speaker, Akhter said, "A dispute can't take away our legitimacy. We have people's mandate and one has to consider that factor."
Akhter also termed Pakistan's approach as not being helpful to make cordial atmosphere. "It they want peace and move towards talks, then this approach is not going to help. This is not a good way to move towards the right direction."
Pakistan recently decided not to invite the speaker of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly to the upcoming Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference as according to it, the invitation would compromise its position on the Kashmir issue.
Special Adviser to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Foreign Affairs and National Security, Sartaj Aziz said that Kashmir was a disputed territory and Pakistan does not recognise its assembly.
"We will never invite the speaker of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly," Aziz said. He said Pakistan's principled position on Jammu and Kashmir will be compromised if the speaker of Jammu and Kashmir is invited to the conference.
"Pakistan does not recognise and accept the said assembly as a legitimate one," he said.
Pakistan is hosting the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference from September 30 to October 8 in Islamabad.
India has threatened to boycott the meet if the speaker of the JK assembly was not invited.