MIRPUR (AJK) - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday asked India to move forward for early settlement of Kashmir issue through meaningful negotiations.
He said his government was ready to consider any proposal for establishment of peace. “We are ready to discuss and resolve all outstanding issues with India, including the Kashmir dispute”, he said while addressing the joint session of Azad Kashmir Legislative Assembly and Kashmir Council held here in connection with the Kashmir Solidarity Day.
Earlier, Nawaz Sharif was accorded a warm welcome when he reached the Muzaffarabad in the morning. He was received by the AJK president, the prime minister, PML-N AJK President Raja Farooq Haider Khan, members of the AJK Cabinet and AJK Legislative Assembly belonging to treasury and opposition benches as well as the city elite.
He said Pakistan was committed to the resolution of all outstanding disputes with India, including Jammu and Kashmir, through dialogue and invited New Delhi to comprehensive, sustained and result-oriented dialogue.
Nawaz maintained the region would remain in the grip of uncertainty and confrontation if Kashmir dispute was not resolved in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people. The dispute, if remained unresolved, would also have adverse effect on the socio-economic development of the region.
The prime minister said a just and peaceful resolution of the dispute in accordance with the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir was a key to everlasting and durable peace in South Asia.
He said India must realise that oppression and durable peace could not co-exist. The division of sub-continent was meant to maintain good neighbourly ties with each other.
He said the Quaid-e-Azam was also clear in this regard when he desired Pakistan-India ties on the pattern of US-Canada relations and even Gandhi also supported Pakistan’s creation realising that oppression and good ties could not go side by side.
Nawaz said if India accepted Kashmiris’ right of self- determination, nothing could deter peaceful relations between the two countries.
He also called upon the international community to play its due role in securing for the Kashmiris their right to self-determination.
Pakistan, he reiterated, would continue playing its constructive role for peaceful solution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.
On behalf of the government and the people of Pakistan, the prime minister reaffirmed his firm commitment to a just and peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and the protection of their fundamental rights.
Nawaz Sharif expressed the confidence that the Indian leadership, while realising the sensitivity of the issue, would reciprocate to his invitation of dialogue in a positive manner and give right to self-determination to the people of Kashmir. The prime minister said good friendly relations could develop between both the neighbouring countries if India accepted the right to self-determination of Kashmiris. He reiterated Pakistan wanted to resolve all outstanding issues with India‚ including the core issue of Kashmir‚ through meaningful and result-oriented dialogue.
Nawaz asserted the Kashmir dispute was on the list of unfinished agenda of the United Nations and this issue had a central place for peace in South Asia. He said like other parts of the world‚ the Kashmiris also had the right to decide their future with their own free will.
The prime minister said Pakistan had taken several concrete steps to reduce the hardships faced by the people living on both sides of the Line of Control. “The steps include the opening of the Line of Control to facilitate trade and movement of the people. These steps clearly reflect that Pakistan wants peace. Our desire for peace is also reflective from the dialogue process with the Taliban,” he said.
Referring to the strong bonds of love and brotherhood existing between the people of Pakistan and Kashmir‚ the prime minister said the sacrifices of those who laid down their lives for independence would not go waste. He said the unwavering struggle of Kashmiri people indicated that this dispute could not be overlooked. “The international community cannot remain silent on the gross violations of human rights in the occupied territory. Pakistan will continue to raise voice for the rights of Kashmiris at all forums till the realisation of their dream,” the PM said.
Assuring all-out support to the Kashmiri people in their just struggle for right to self-determination‚ Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan strictly adhered to its stance on Kashmir that it should be resolved in accordance with the UN resolutions and aspirations of the Kashmiri people.
While referring to the close affinity between Kashmiri and Pakistani people‚ he said development of Azad Jammu & Kashmir was as dear to him as that of Pakistan. He said the PML-N government was planning for the development of basic infrastructure in the country. The projects included linking of Muzaffarabad and Mirpur to GT Road through dual-carriage ways and extending Islamabad express way up to Muzaffarabad. “We also plan to link Muzaffarabad with Karakoram Highway,” he pointed out.
Speaking on the occasion‚ AJK Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed thanked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the people and the government of Pakistan for their fullest moral, political and diplomatic support to Kashmiris’ struggle for right to self-determination. He appreciated Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for raising the Kashmir dispute at international level, including the United Nations, in an unequivocal, bold and courageous manner.
The AJK premier said Kashmiris had rendered numerous sacrifices for their right to self-determination which had also been accepted by the international community. He said the government and the people of Pakistan were observing the Kashmir Solidarity Day today to express solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir for which he was grateful to them. “Jammu and Kashmir people are thankful for the firm support Pakistan is extending to the people of Jammu and Kashmir in their legitimate struggle for their inalienable right to self-determination,” the AJK premier said.