PM’s Kashmir policy

The Kashmir Committee Wednesday passed a resolution to welcome the commitment shown by Prime Minister Imran Khan for linking the resolution of Kashmir dispute with regional peace and stability. The committee met under the chair of its Chairman Shehryar Khan Afridi and passed the resolution.

The resolution acknowledged the role played by the prime minister as an ambassador for Kashmiris and extended full support to the efforts being made for resolution of Kashmir dispute. The resolution said that Kashmir is a jugular vein of Pakistan as per the vision of father of the nation Mohammad Ali Jinnah and said that Pakistan would resolve the Kashmir dispute in line with the United Nations resolutions on the dispute of Jammu and Kashmir. The resolution demanded the United Nations Human Rights Council and other international Human Rights organizations to ensure immediate release of all the political prisoners of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) especially senior leaders of Hurriyat Conference who have been put behind bars for decades without any conviction.

It also called for release of Syed Shabbir Shah, Masarat Alam Bhat, Yasin Malik, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Ashraf Sehrai, Asiya Andrabi, Fehmida Sofi, Naheeda Nasreen and others who have been subjected to inhuman treatment in prisons and demanded to shift all the women prisoners of IIOJK back to Kashmiri prisons. Spokesman of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Zahid Hafeez, while briefing the members of the committee, said there was no change whatsoever in Pakistan’s position on the dispute of Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan’s position was anchored on the United Nations (UN) resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir dispute. Zahid Hafeez said that Prime Minister’s statement made in Kotli, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, was consistent with Pakistan’s longstanding policy on Jammu and Kashmir dispute and Pakistan would continue its support of Kashmiris at all fora. He said the recent understanding between the Pakistani and Indian military to observe the Line of Control agreement of year 2003 was aimed at saving lives and properties of the Kashmiri people living on both sides of the LoC. “To save Kashmiri lives and to provide some comfort to Kashmiris on both sides of the LoC, it was necessary to abide by ceasefire agreement,” he said. He said the focus was on purely military understanding on military mechanisms reached about ceasefire on the LoC. He said Pakistan believes that any violation of ceasefire agreement may jeopardise regional peace and may also hurt the Kashmiris living on both sides of the LoC.

“There is absolutely no change in Pakistan’s stance on resolving Kashmir dispute through dialogue and under the UN resolutions on Kashmir dispute,” he said. The chairman of the committee said the pertinent questions of Khurram Dastagir Khan would be addressed by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in next meeting.

Sohail Ali Khan

Islamabad

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