ISLAMABAD, Sept 4
(APP):‑Minister for Information and Kashmir Affair and Northern Areas Qamar
Zaman Kaira on Friday briefed the kashmiri leaders here in the Foreign Office
along with other issues on Gilgit‑Baltistan self‑reliance and empowerment
Ordinance. The briefing was also attended by Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah
Mahmood Qureshi, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir Raja Zulqarnain Khan, Prime
Minister Azad Jammu and Kashmir Muhammad Yaqoob Khan, representatives of Indian
Occupied Kashmir leaders and other Kashmiri leaders.
appreciating Pakistan’s efforts to resolve the Kashmir issue expressed
their resolve and commitment to continue their efforts to find a just and
peaceful resolution of the issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
They emphasized the need to
resume dialogue process between Pakistan and India and added that both
Islamabad and New Delhi would benefit from the resumption of dialogue process
which is in the interest of peace and security in South Asia and added that
Kashmiris must be associated with these talks.
Expressing concern and regret
to put ‘pause’ by India on the Composite Dialogue process they stressed the need
that the dialogue process should continue.
The participants noted the
steps taken by government of Pakistan to grant empowerment to the people of the
Northern Areas and they endorsed the action taken by the government in this
The meeting expressed full
solidarity with the people of Indian Occupied Kashmir underlining that Pakistan
will never abandon the Jammu and Kashmir issue.
The meeting called for
resolution of the water issues between Pakistan and India in accordance with the
Indus Treaty of 1960.
Appreciating the holding of the
ceasefire along the Line of Control the Kashmiri leaders termed it an important
Confidence Building Measures (CBM).
They also noted that CBMs on
Kashmir including cross LoC travel and trade were positive development.
The meeting said the elections
in Indian Occupied Kashmir are not a substitute for the right to
self‑determination. The low vote turnout in the elections was a clear message to
New Delhi that the people of Jammu and Kashmir have rejected all steps by India
to force its will on the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
The meeting endorsed the
holding of a conference on Kashmir early next year.
Earlier, the Foreign Minister
Shah Mahmood Qureshi while speaking on the occasion said, “Pakistan remains
committed to finding a just and peaceful solution of the issue of Jammu and
Kashmir in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions and aspirations of
people of Kashmir.”
He said Pakistan will continue
its moral, political and diplomatic support to the people of Kashmir.
The Foreign Minister said all
political parties in Pakistan speak with one voice on the issue of Jammu and
Qureshi said the Kashmir issue
needs to be projected more vigorously and the role of the Kashmiri Diaspora is
extremely important in this context.
He said it was also a unanimous
view that India must put an end to the human rights violation in Indian Occupied
The minister said Kashmir holds
the key to a durable peace in the region.
“We feel that Kashmir dispute
is central to Pakistan‑India relations which highlights the need for the
Kashmiris to be associated with the dialogue process.
He said the Kashmir issue
remained key factor in all the rounds of composite dialogue process between
Pakistan and India so far held.
The Minister said Kashmir issue
remained focused in all the meetings of President or Prime Minister or at
foreign minister level with the Indian leaders.
Referring to the recent
meetings between the two prime ministers at Sharm‑El‑Sheikh the Foreign Minister
said, it underlines that “the two prime ministers recognized that dialogue is
the only way forward.”
He said, “We feel that the
reaction in India to the Pakistan‑India talks in Sharm El‑Sheikh and the
subsequent joint statement has been emotional.”
Referring to elections held in
IOK in April‑May 2009, the Minister said, “In our view elections in IOK are an
administrative measure and not a substitute to conflict resolution.”
The Minister assured the
Kashmiri leaders that Pakistan has been making consistent efforts to project the
Kashmir cause at the national and international levels.
He said the Special Committee
on Kashmir of the National Assembly has proposed to hold a conference on Kashmir
early next year in Islamabad.
On the water dispute, the
Minister said, “We have emphasized to the Indian side that there is a need to
ensure respect to Indus Waters Treaty and the commitment to address concerns
Qureshi said a major step has
been announced by the government recently to grant empowerment to the people of
the Northern Areas now Gilgit‑Baltistan and termed it indeed an important