YORK Pakistan on Tuesday urged the United States to pressure India into settling the core issue of Kashmir between India and Pakistan amid a popular revolt in the disputed state by the oppressed people against Indian occupation.
The occupation cannot continue. The rights of the Kashmiri people cannot continue to be denied, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said at the Council on Foreign Relations, a think-tank.
His strong statement came on a day the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also broke his silence on the explosive situation, calling for an immediate end to violence in the Occupied Kashmir where Indian security forces have killed more than 100 freedom-seeking protestors.
Qureshi said the ongoing clashes showed that India and not Pakistan was to blame for the uprising Kashmir where army troops have been enforcing a 24-hour curfew.
On a visit to New York for a UN General Assembly session, the Foreign Minister reaffirmed his Governments desire of peace with India denounced New Delhis rule in Kashmir as oppression.
The Foreign Ministers sharp remarks came ahead of his expected meeting with Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna, who arrived in New York On Tuesday.
The international community must recognise that the people of Kashmir, in an entirely indigenous upsurge, are demanding their right to self-determination, Qureshi said while rejecting allegations that Pakistan was behind the revolt against New Delhis rule.
Stressing that the uprising in the Occupied Kashmir was indigenous, he said Pakistan has neither the means nor the capacity to mobilise the young and old to stage protest demonstrations and shut down towns and cities.
Although Qureshi covered a number of topics, he made the most detailed statement so far on the Kashmir dispute. He urged India to take a fresh look at the evolving situation in the territory and sit down with Pakistan in an effort to resolve the festering dispute. Dialogue is the only way forward ..We can do it.
We are convinced that sustainable peace can only offer the best guarantee for ensuring a bright and prosperous future for over one billion people inhabiting the region, the Foreign Minister said.
Resuming the dialogue process with India, therefore, remains a major objective for us, while noting that his discussions with Indian Minister of External Affairs SM Krishna in July were useful.
We look forward to constructive and result oriented interaction with India on all issues, especially the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, he said.
The Foreign Minister said that the United Nations had recognised the rights of Kashmiri people long ago. Now is the time for the international community to do something about it.
We call upon the United States particularly, which is pressing so responsibly for peace in the Middle East, to also invest its political capital in trying to help seek an accommodation for Kashmir, he added. The Foreign Minister said, It has always baffled me that the international community has long recognised that the Palestinian question is the core issue to peace in the Middle East, but does not seem to understand that, similarly, until the status of Jammu and Kashmir is resolved, real peace in South Asia will remain elusive... Today, the Kashmiri youth, children and women have once again highlighted the occupation and suppressive policies of occupation in Indian held Kashmir. Surely the world can recognise that this resistance is internal and visceral. It may be easy for some to dismiss the uprisings as outside agitation, but no one any longer can seriously believe this.
The Minister, who devoted large part of his address to the floods in Pakistan, said in response to a question after his address that Pakistan Peoples Party has always advocated normalisations of relations with India and peaceful co-existence.
Obviously, we have issues and that is why we have a composite dialogue, including Kashmir. But the school that I represent is of the view that Pakistan today stands to gain from the normalisation (of relations with India), he said, adding that India is Pakistans neighbour and will always remain a neighbour.
He said there are million of Pakistanis and Indians who are living below the poverty line. There are so many challenges where we an work together, he said.
So, an India relationship is an important relationship, but what we want is a resolution of our outstanding issues through peaceful dialogue. When the two prime ministers recently met in Thimpu, Bhutan, they agreed that 'dialogue is the only way forward, he said.
I had meetings with (Foreign Minister) SM Krishna and I am of the view that there are number of doable that can be done. We can do it and that will change the environment in South Asia.
He said that East Asia had changed despite differences and difficulties among countries, but there is economic growth and prosperity there and therefore, he said, he sees a lot of opportunities in moving forward in building bridges and at the same time resolving outstanding bilateral issues, including Kashmir.
The situation is difficult. At times it is easy for Indians to look towards Pakistan and blame Islamabad for blaming that is going wrong in Indian Occupied Kashmir. Today what we are seeing over there is popular expression of frustration. You could argue that Pakistan can fan disruption, can be behind some nefarious activities, but the question is can Pakistan orchestrate thousands of people to go for shutdown in all over Kashmir. Do we control children and women in Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir so that they will come out and agitate? No we cant do that, he said.