Kashmiris should be final arbiter of their destiny: Zardari

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Old 06-Feb-2011
Kashmiris should be final arbiter of their destiny: Zardari

Islamabad February 6:

From the President's House to the streets, Pakistan's diplomatic missions across the globe and on domestic television channels, Kashmir remained the subject of national discourse as the nation observed Kashmir Solidarity Day with repeated demands to India to allow the Kashmiri people their right to self-determination.

Extending Pakistan's “unwavering, political, moral and diplomatic support'' to the just struggle of “our Kashmiri brethren,” President Asif Ali Zardari in his message to the nation on the occasion said Kashmiris should be associated with the dialogue process as they should be the final arbiter of their destiny.

Referring to the ongoing struggle as a “new chapter in the struggle of [the] Kashmiri people,” Mr. Zardari described it as “spontaneous, indigenous and non-violent.'' Drawing attention to the manner in which Indian subjugation of Kashmir had turned what was a “paradise on earth'' into a garrison state, Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani asserted that durable peace in South Asia is not possible without the resolution of the Kashmir dispute in line with the United Nations resolutions and aspirations of the Kashmiri people.
Though the Prime Minister was to travel to Muzaffrabad – the capital of Azad Jammu & Kashmir – bad weather prevented him from attending the joint session of the Legislative Assembly of the province and Kashmir Council. He, meanwhile, used the day to once again urge India to have a meaningful and result-oriented dialogue with Pakistan on the issue of Jammu & Kashmir.

The chairman of the Special Committee of Parliament on Kashmir, Maulana Fazl-ur-Rahman, noted that the machinations of India had not weakened the bond between Kashmiris and Pakistanis in six decades. Though Pakistan is beset with its own problems, Pakistanis continue to feel the pain of Kashmiris, he said; adding that India and the world should realise now that Kashmiris want freedom from India and not an internal adjustment.

In a rally in the federal capital, Maulana Fazl-ur-Rahman – who heads his own faction of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam – warned that if the U. S. wants an honourable exit from Afghanistan, then it would have to ensure that the Kashmir issue is resolved first. “The way to leave Afghanistan passes through Kashmir,'' he said; adding independence is the right of the Kashmiri people and no power in the world can stop it.

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