ISLAMABAD – Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan on Tuesday termed the Kashmir ‘dispute’ as the biggest hurdle between normalization of relations between India and Pakistan.
Imran ruled out any military solution for Kashmir and said that resolving Kashmir dispute would be the top priority if his party was voted into the parliament in the 2013 general elections. The cricketer turned politician who expects a majority in the upcoming elections said that “Kashmir is the bone of contention between the two neighbor countries and must be resolved if peace has to ushered into the sub continent. I have three former foreign ministers in my party and they have acquainted me about the Kashmir issue, so I don’t think I will have any problem to sort it out once I come to power”. He said that he had he had sought suggestions from the Hurriyat Conference delegation that recently visited Pakistan, and would incorporate their suggestions in his policies. “We have to see how we can settle the issue through negotiations with India and I am of the opinion that Kashmiri leadership should also be taken into confidence” he said.
Meanwhile pro-independence National Students Federation (NSF) on Tuesday orchestrated a rally to express their rejection of the January 5, 1949 UN Security Council resolution on Kashmir for “divesting the Kashmiris of their right to complete independence of their motherland.” The rally commenced from Upper Adda with NSF activists holding red party flags, chanting slogans against accession of the state of Jammu and Kashmir to any of the two South Asian neighbors – Pakistan or India. “Please break the forced relations. Leave our Kashmir,” they shouted. Speaking to reporters on the occasion, NSF secretary General Kamran Baig said that every conscientious Kashmiri rejected the January 5, 1949 resolution because it had restricted the right to self determination of the Kashmiri people to accession with India or Pakistan. He said that “for the last 65 years, Kashmiris are being blackmailed in the name of their freedom. Today the elements that raised their properties and bank balances on the bodies of around 100,000 Kashmiri martyrs are again out to play a dirty game which we condemn vehemently.” He said that his organization would resist all moves aimed at disintegrating the state of Kashmir by forces “inimical to true freedom of Kashmiris.”
Moreover, Chairman United Jihad Council (UJC) and Supreme commander of Hizbul Mujahideen Syed Salahuddin said that former Pakistan President Parvez Musharraf ‘backstabbed’ Kashmiri Mujahideen when India was about to quit Kashmir.
Salahuddin held a press conference at Muzaffarabad press club, after conclusion of the rally. He said that “Musharraf retreated on Kashmir under international pressure by presenting a four-point formula without any guarantee from anywhere and in fact he created confusion in Kashmir as well as discord among the Kashmiri leadership, triggering roadmaps from every other leader. We have suffered at the hands of our own people.” Commenting on the efficacy of militant struggle for an independent Kashmir, he said that if India had not feel threatened, it would have reduced the number of its troops. However, he said that he could not disclose his strategy at public forums. Asked who was responsible for friction in the ranks of Hurriyat leaders, he laid the blame on “fluctuating and inconsistent policies of Pakistan.”
Salahuddin stated that the trans-Kashmir travel or trade of “potatoes and onions,” internal autonomy or division of Kashmir could not be the substitute for freedom. “We are not antipathetic to intra-Kashmir trade or travel but attaching as much importance to it as can put the basic issue on the
backburner. It is a naked betrayal with the unprecedented sacrifices offered by the Kashmiris,” he said. According to him, the ongoing India-Pakistan talks and Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) on trade and travel were a bane for the Kashmiris because they were virtually sidelining the core issue. “This goes exactly in line with India’s strategy and can affect the affiliation of Kashmiris towards Pakistan,” he warned.
Recalling that around 150 rounds of talks between India and Pakistan on Kashmir had failed to yield anything, Salahuddin emphasized that the Kashmiris should not be kept in dark through hollow claims. He concluded “if the advocate of Kashmiris (Pakistan) was bent upon befriending their persecutor (India), they could think of some other means to advance their cause”.