Pakistanis have forgotten Kashmir issue: Salahuddin

MUZAFFARABAD: Chairman of United Jihad Council and Supreme Commander of Hizbul Mujahideen Syed Salahuddin has appreciated recent statements of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Shareef on Kashmir issue.

Addressing a news conference Salahuddin said: “Pakistan is a basic party to Kashmir case. One third of the territory of Jammu and Kashmir and its population are under its command and control. So Pakistan is legally, constitutionally and morally bound support Kashmiris.”

Salahuddin, who was flanked by UJC secretary general Shaikh Jameel ur Rehman, Mufti Muhammad Asghar, deputy chief Jaish-e-Muhammad Jammu Kashmir, Jan Muhammad, Ameer Harkat Jihad e Islami JK and Uzair Ahmed Ghazali, called upon the people of Pakistan to rise above their regional, organisational and ethnic differences to encourage the people of Kashmir.

Referring to his visits to various Pakistani cities, he claimed that majority of people in Pakistan had gradually forgotten Kashmir issue.

“They should pressurise their leadership to aggressively present Pakistan’s principled stand on Kashmir at the international forums and that Kashmir should be central to India-Pakistan relations,” he added.

He pointed out that Kashmiris had not shown exhaustion for a single moment notwithstanding unrelenting repression. “If they are defiant, why there are apologetic and cowardice policies from here (Islamabad),” he questioned.

The UJC chief expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Sharif for reiterating Pakistan’s 65-year-old principled stance on Kashmir issue and seeking the intervention of international community, particularly the United States, for resolution of the festering dispute.

“Entire Kashmiri leadership endorses the Sharif’s stand in totality and we earnestly appeal to him to stick to it. The international community is committed to the Kashmiri people through the UN Security Council resolutions.”

He also spoke at length about allegations that militant leadership was averse to India-Pakistan dialogue, pointing out that more than 155 bilateral conversations between the two sides after 1947 had yielded nothing.

“India is not ready to accept ground realities and instead continues to beat the drum of atoot ang (integral part). In fact, India engages Pakistan in aimless and endless talks to buy time.”

Salahuddin termed bilateral talks as a sham exercise and called for “meaningful tripartite Kashmir centric talks.” “Talks should not begin unless Kashmiris are at the negotiating table as a basic principal party. Without this, talks cannot be meaningful and result oriented.”

He however appealed to the Pakistani leadership not to beg (India) for talks.

Ridiculing Indian allegations of infiltration through the Line of Control (LoC), he questioned how infiltration could take place when India had erected 12 feet wide and 9 feet high fence along the 721 kilometre dividing line besides maintaining its round the clock surveillance through 350,000 troops.

He said Indian shelling at LoC was linked with the upcoming Indian elections as the main contenders Congress and BJP were blowing anti-Pakistan sentiments out of proportions to woo voters.

“This is nucleus of Indian politics. The more you speak and act against Pakistan, the more you draw support from extremists.” Answering a question on division in APHC, he said it had happened due to wrong policies of Islamabad.