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Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz's address to the Council of Pakistan occupied Kashmir

Sardar Muhammad Anwar Khan,
Sardar Sikandar Bayat Khan,
Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Bayat, Minister Incharge AJK Council Secretariat,
Distinguished Parliamentarians and Members of the Azad Jamrnu and Kashmir Council,
Ladies and gentlemen!

I consider it a privilege to address this Session of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Council. I compliment the efforts of this august house and its members for espousing effectively the just cause of the Kashmiri people.

The Kashmir issue has always commanded complete national consensus in Pakistan. All Pakistanis are united in their support for a peaceful political settlement of the Jarnrnu and Kashmir dispute, in accordance with the full realization of the legitimate aspirations of the Kashmiri people. The cause of the people of Kashmir derives its strength from the steadfast resolve of the oppressed people for freedom. This cause is rooted in international legitimacy derived from the Charter of the United Nations and the sanctity of the relevant resolutions of the Security Council.

Ladies and gentlemen,

For the last 57 years, Pakistan has remained sincere and steadfast in its efforts for a peaceful resolution of this dispute. We have always maintained that besides Pakistan and India, the people of Kashmir are the principal party to the dispute, which must be resolved in accordance with their wishes. It is not merely a territorial dispute but essentially about the inalienable rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to determine their own future. This inherent and fundamental right cannot and will not be denied to them. India must be made to realize that the indomitable will of the Kashmiris will eventually prevail. The use of force to suppress the aspirations of the proud Kashmiri people to freedom, is counter productive.

More than 80,000 Kashmiris have laid down their lives for the sake of freedom. Their supreme sacrifices cannot go in vain. Today more than ever before, there is an acute awareness at the international level about the importance of a peaceful settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. The human rights violations in Indian occupied Kashmir continue to weigh heavily on the collective conscience of the international community.

We are heartened by the recommendations given by the adhoc delegation of the European Parliament in its recent report on Kashrnir. The Report is objective and a reflection of the moral compunctions that the tragedy of J arnrnu and Kashrnir evoke amongst people of conscience and sense of justice. We hope that the European Parliament will take action on the recommendations given in the report, particularly with regard to the appointment of a Special Rapporteur on Kashmir.

Let me now say a few words on the recent developments in Pakistan- India relations. We have always emphasized the necessity of a meaningful and constructive dialogue to resolve our differences. In this context we have embarked on the process of a Composite Dialogue with India aimed at resolving all outstanding issues including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir. We have made a strategic choice to pursue peace based on justice for the Kashmiris. Durable peace in South Asia can only be achieved by a peaceful solution of the dispute, a solution that is in accord with the legitimate aspirations of the Kashmiri people.

Pakistan is sincerely committed to a serious, substantive and result oriented talks with India to resolve all outstanding issues. We hope that India will resolve these sentiments and join Pakistan in working together for promotion of just and durable peace. Without resolution of the Kashmir dispute, hopes for peace, progress and prosperity for the people of South Asia, would not materialize. This is the hard fact that India must realize.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Let me take this opportunity to pay homage to the valiant sons and daughters of Kashmir, who have laid down their lives for their inalienable right of self -determination. I have no doubt that their sacrifices for the just cause will be rewarded and the will of the people of Kashmir will prevail. The people of Pakistan want to assure their Kashmiri brethren that they are not alone at this fateful stage of their valiant struggle. Pakistan will continue to extend all moral, political and diplomatic support to their just cause.

Thank You.

Source: Official Website of the Government of Pakistan







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