Govt to consult parliament on Kashmir solution
By Mohammad Imran
ISLAMABAD: The government on Thursday assured the Special Committee on Kashmir that parliament would be taken into confidence before resolving the Kashmir issue.
“The government will take the cabinet and the parliament into confidence before resolving the issue of Kashmir,” Raja Pervez Ashraf, secretary general of the Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians (PPPP), told reporters after an in-camera session of the Kashmir committee.
Ashraf said Khurshid Kasuri, the foreign minister, gave the committee a four-hour briefing on the government’s Kashmir policy. “Without the consent of parliament and the Kashmiri people, the government will not accept any solution of the Kashmir issue,” Ashraf quoted Kasuri as saying.
The in-camera briefing was arranged by the government to brief parliamentarians about the latest developments on the Kashmir dispute. Ashraf said the committee had decided to observe ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’ on February 5 with various programmes. The Kashmir committee condemned a recent statement from the Indian foreign secretary in which he said that the Kashmiris living in Indian-held Kashmir were citizens of India.
He said that a sub-committee of the Kashmir committee had proposed that the government summon a joint session of parliament to debate the issue of Kashmir and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz should brief parliament about the government’s Kashmir policy. He said the committee had decided that all political parties should adopt a “national stance” on the Kashmir issue because of its sensitivity. Atiya Anayatullah, member of the National Assembly, said that the members of the committee agreed that the Kashmir issue should be resolved according to the wishes of the Kashmiri people.
She said the Pakistan would never accept the Line of Control (LoC) as a permanent border. She said that it was also decided that on January 5, the members of the committee would present a memorandum to the United Nations office in Islamabad.
She said that Pakistan was sincere in wanting a just solution to the Kashmir dispute, but the intentions of the Indian authorities were “dubious”.
Kasuri, talking to journalists, said that Pakistan wanted to resolve the issue of Kashmir peacefully. He said that Pakistan would not accept any solution which was not acceptable to the people of Kashmir.