Pakistan and India working to settle Kashmir: Faisal
NEW YORK: Pakistan is working with India to find a solution to the Kashmir problem acceptable to the Kashmiris, Makhdoom Faisal Saleh Hayat, minister for Kashmir affairs and Northern Areas, said on Sunday.
“There is no question of a Kashmir sell-out,” he told a convention of overseas Pakistanis at the Consulate General of Pakistan. The minister said that Pakistan had not compromised its stance on the 57-year-old dispute, which was the centrepiece of the current dialogue process.
Pakistan was of the view that no “sustainable or durable” settlement was possible without the involvement of the people of Kashmir in the peace process, Hayat said. He said the recent visit by leaders of All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) had helped start a dialogue among the Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC), paving the way for a consensus on the issue. “At this crucial stage, the Kashmiris should unite,” he added. “We have made it clear that unless progress is visible on the Kashmir dispute, no meaningful progress would be possible on other outstanding issues.”
Responding to a question, he defended President General Pervez Musharraf’s decision to continue in uniform.
When a delegate accused him of defecting from the Pakistan People’s Party for personal interests, Hayat said he was still loyal to the party’s principles. He said that he had developed differences with Benazir Bhutto over her exile. He said that he wanted her to return to Pakistan before the general elections, but she was afraid of being arrested. He said Benazir was only interested in acquiring power and had no interest in democracy. app