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Visit of All Parties Hurriyat Conference Leaders.

Leading members of All Parties Hurriyat Conference visited Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad (ISSI) on December 19, 2012 to deliver a lecture on "Prospects of Resolving the Kashmir Dispute: views from the APHC" . The Institute had organised the event under its distinguished Lecture series 2012. While welcoming the guests from Indian occupied Kashmir, the Director General ISSI, Ambassador (retd) Ashraf Jehangir Qazi said that it was an honour for the Institute to host a delegation of such eminent leaders. He said that Kashmir dispute is one of the oldest dispute at the UN agenda. Besides Indian refusal to make a meaningful effort to resolve this issue, Pakistan has also made number of mistakes. However, these mistakes cannot diminish the importance of the Kashmir issue. This issue is not about a piece of land but about the basic right of millions of Kashmiris. Kashmiris have shown that despite the massive human rights abuses, their struggle would continue till the end.

Speaking at the occasion, Mir Waiz Umar farooq said that it is very important to determine the context of the issue. Is it a territorial dispute or a question of the rights of the Kashmiri people? He said that although the issue is bilateral in nature, but the aspirations of the Kashmiri people should also be taken into account. There can be no solution to this problem without taking the Kashmiri people on board. He expressed his concern that the Government of India was successfully able to confuse grievances of the Kashmiri people with their aspirations. It has been projecting that resolving issues like health care and poor governance etc would address the aspirations of the Kashmiri people. People of Kashmir are looking towards Pakistan for support. He said that Pakistan acknowledges that Kashmiris have to be a part of negotiations but the important question arises here that which party would be allowed to come to the table?

Would it be parties like PDP and National Congress which are backed by India or some other party supported by Pakistan? He stressed the need for developing a mechanism and a clear policy for the way forward. He welcomed the ongoing talks between India and Pakistan but also highlighted the fact that unless the core issue i.e. Kashmir issue is resolved, talks on other problems like Siachen and Sir Creek would not bear any fruit.

He said that APHC has been demanding the Indian government to revoke laws like Armed forces Special Powers Act and reduction of troops in the valley. Pakistan should put its weight behind APHC.

Prof. Abdul Ghani Bhat also spoke on the occasion. He said that a number of changes are taking place round the world which makes the prospects of the resolution of this dispute bright. Kashmiris want a permanent solution of this problem as it is linked to the peace and security of the entire South Asian region.

This was followed by a vibrant question and answer session. Towards the end, the Director General (ISSI) thanked the honourable guests for apprising the audience regarding their view point. He also thanked the audience for actively participating and making the event a success.

*Courtesy by Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad.

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Publication:The Diplomatic Insight
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Feb 28, 2013
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