Pakistan

PPP to hold national conference on Kashmir issue: Zardari

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Friday announced that the party will host a national all-parties conference to reiterate the nation’s stand on the Kashmir issue.

The former president made the announcement with a delegation of the Kashmiri leaders who called on him.  They included Speaker AJK Shah Ghulam Qadir,, Rashid Turabi, former President AJK Sardar Yaqoob Khan, former Prime Minister Sardar Atique, Ghulam M. Safi and Tahir Mashood.

“The present government is wavering and the political parties’ conference is intended to keep the momentum and build sustained pressure so that the Kashmir cause is not compromised,” said Zardari while speaking to the Kashmir leaders.

Zardari said that any resolution on the Kashmir dispute must be based on the wishes of the people of Kashmir and the UN resolutions. “Any solution without taking into account the wishes of the Kashmiris is doomed to fail,” he said.

While strongly condemning human rights violations in Indian-held Kashmir and the use of pellet guns blinding the youth, Zardari called on the international community to take note of the atrocities.

“Kashmiris have risen for their rights and their voice could no longer be stifled by pellet guns and bullets,” he said.

He said that violence and use of force will not resolve the issue and the only way forward for a fair, settlement was to hold dialogue and take into account the aspirations and wishes of Kashmiri people.

“Resolution of Kashmir issue is linked to regional peace and stability,” he said.

He added that there was no clash between seeking to normalise relations with India, and remaining steadfast to the principled stance on the UN resolutions to resolve the dispute.

He recalled the warning given by Benazir Bhutto of the disastrous consequences of unilaterally giving up the stance on UN resolutions without a quid pro-quo as done by previous governments.

Zardari also called for increased development funds for Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan to empower the people of the region.

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