Monday, 2 June 2008

APHC is not a representative of Kashmiris, asserts JKLF

APHC is not a representative of Kashmiris, asserts JKLF

London: Leaders and senior members of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) for the UK and Europe seemed full of the praise which the US Department had showered on J&K Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. A four-member delegation led by the JKLF President Abbas Butt had recently gone to Washington and met US State Department officials.

While briefing the media about the outcome of the visit, Butt said: "They are pleased with the role of Mufti Mohammad Syed in providing the healing touch." The Chairman of Diplomatic Committee of the JKLF's UK and Europe unit, Dr Shabir Choudhry added:

"The US has no 'road map' for the resolution of the Kashmir dispute. The dispute has to be resolved by the concerned parties. However, as a friend America is prepared to play its supportive and advisory role." They also averred that the US agreed with them that the All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) was not a representative of the Kashmir people and it lacked the "vision" and "a programme" to tackle the situation.

They said they had two-rounds of discussions with the representatives of the State Department, first at the State Department headquarters and later at a hotel. Butt and Choudhry said the consensus was that use of the military was not an option at all for resolving the Kashmir issue. "The dispute has to be resolved through a process of dialogue." The leaders maintained their old line that while trying to find a solution, views of the Kashmiri people must be ascertained, at least before reaching a final settlement of the dispute.

"Violence and extremism has to be opposed as it is not the way forward," the State Department officials told the JKLF delegation. Crucially, the JKLF was invited to send a delegation to Washington in between the official visits of the Indian Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani and the Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. Butt stressed that the Kashmir dispute could not be be resolved just by holding bilateral talks as it was not a territorial dispute.

"People of Kashmir are the principal party to this long standing dispute, and they should have the final say on the future status of the State. In any case, history of bilateralism between the two proves that they have not been able to make progress, and it is also because of this that the people of Kashmir must be involved in the peace process," Butt pointed out that J&K is a multi-religious and multi-ethnic political unit, and must remain as such. People should have the right to live and practice their beliefs without any fear or intimidation. "Any attempt to change this character of the State could result in more problems and violence in Kashmir and spill over to India and Pakistan."

On the issue of representation, Choudhry said: "We acknowledge practical difficulties in ascertaining the views of the Kashmiri people, and even to decide who will represent them.” But it is clear that the APHC is not a representative of the Kashmir people. They have miserably failed to win trust of minorities, or expand into Jammu, Ladakh, (Pakistan-Occupied) Kashmir, Gilgit and Baltistan and even failed to win minds and hearts of the people of Valley."

The JKLF leaders said there should be a bus service between Muzaffarabad and Srinagar and between Mirpur and Jammu. They also suggested free travel facilities to Kashmiris from Jammu to places in PoK, Gilgit and Baltistan, of course both ways.,00430005.htm

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