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UN chief sends his condolences after earthquake hits Kathmandu Valley -
UNITED NATIONS, April 26 (APP): UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has sent his deepest condolences to the government of Nepal and to everyone affected by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the country Saturday.


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LONDON, Apr 26 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Sunday expressed grief and sorrow over the bomb blast in Sibbi and loss of precious lives.


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Regional peace possible only by resolution of Kashmir dispute: President PDF Print E-mail
MUZAFFARAparli.jpgBAD, Jan 5 (APP): President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday said peace can only come to the region if the lingering Kashmir dispute was resolved.“The whole focus of world is on Pakistan. Regional peace is linked with the resolution of the Kashmir dispute and peace can only come if the issue is resolved,” the President said here at the AJK capital.He was addressing a joint session of AJK Assembly and Kashmir Council in the Assembly Hall marking the “self-determination day”, celebrated across the world, to renew pledge to continue the liberation struggle till its logical end.
President Zardari described Kashmir as the “jugular vein” of Pakistan and said “soon the time will come when the world will take important decisions regarding Kashmir.”
“We have never objected to friendship between India and the United States, but we know that we cannot change our neighbours, nor can they.”
He expressed the hope that the people of Kashmir will succeed.The President said the happenings in Kashmir today were known all over the world as international media today beams through satellites every issue, whether it is a strike or any other event and it can’t be hidden anymore, he added.
The president also endorsed the pledge made by the people of Kashmir of waging a thousand-year war and said “this is a war of ideology that will continue for coming generations.”
The president said that democratic governments played a key role in moving forward on the Kashmir dispute.
“Whenever dictators took over they speak of appeasement. We, from Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto to me and the prime minister have talked with India on equal terms.”
When Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had spoken of waging a thousand year war, he never said that he would not do it through talks or negotiations, he added.
President Zardari said “It is a sign of weakness of a developed democratic India that they can make a nation yield through force.”
He said their elders used to think that Kashmiri nation was weak. But now they know that they can stand up to any pressure and have sacrificed their lives and that of their loved ones and the slogan of “Kashmir will become Pakistan” remains as fresh as ever.
 President Zardari who was on his first visit to the AJK capital since assuming his office said serving the Kashmiris was not an obligation but a duty for him.
“To wage a war for the Kashmiris is our duty,” and recalled that Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto also had a similar passion towards Kashmir. “Similarly whatever the government of Pakistan does for you is also its obligation,” he added.
The President recalled that when Shaheed Mohtarma came to Pakistan, she was well aware what could happen to her and that’s why she penned down her will, that delegated the duty on him to protect Pakistan and Kashmir.
“We can give our lives, but will not let anything happen to Kashmir,” he said as the joint sitting thumped the desks.
The president announced constituting a committee under Wattoo, that will focus on assisting the people of Kashmir.
He also acknowledged the demand made by the Kashmiri leaders regarding the right over the water flowing through the rivers and said “You have a right on your waters and will apprise our parliament.”
“While we like to have a greener Pakistan, we would also like to have a greener Kashmir,” he said.
“I have an obligation to the children of Kashmir like I have to Bilawal, Bakhtawar and Aseefa. It is a responsibility from which I will not shirk,” the president said.
He said there was rich potential in Kashmir and there was a need to bring about a new thinking and all to stand united to achieve their goals.
The President mentioned the issue raised by the Speaker AJK Legislative Assembly about the cutting of trees that were having a negative impact on the environment.
The President said Pakistan would assist the AJK government by providing it the funds it was generating from their cutting, but asked the AJK assembly to pass a resolution and ensure that no more trees are cut there.
He recalled that in the aftermath of Oct 2005 earthquake he managed to raise funds and despatch medicines and teams of doctors to help the affected people of Kashmir.
The president approved a number of demands made by the Joint session and announced establishment of Medical College in AJK and said the seats for Kashmiri students in medical colleges all over Pakistan would be reserved.
He said the issue of resettlement of Mangla Dam affectees would be resolved soon and announced that the demand to exempt their Rs 0.2 million would be approved as per demand.
He said the problems of Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) would be resolved soon. He asked the Chairman AJK Council to look into the demands of the area people.
He also announced Rs 5 million for the Muzaffarabad Press Club.
The president said he would prefer an extempore speech as he believed to speak out his mind after hearing what the Kashmiri leaders have to say. He said he has personal affiliation with Kashmir as his father joined the freedom struggle for Kashmir and was part of the movement to liberate it.
He said the Pakistan Peoples Party has a deep and historic relation with Kashmir and has continued to strengthen over the years.
President Zardari ended his address by raising the slogan that “not only I believe that Pakistan Khapay, but also that Kashmir Khapay.”
The day is observed all over Kashmir and the world as it was on January 5 in 1949 that the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution, which recognized the right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
The United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan in a resolution asked that the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan be decided through “the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite.”

 
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