Altaf Hamid Rao.
MUZAFFARABAD/MIRPUR (AJK), (Parliament Times) : The AJK President Sardar Masood Khan on Friday asserted that the people of Kashmir are determined to carry on their struggle until they liberate their territory from India and incorporate it into Pakistan as per their natural and political desire.
“The Kashmiri people have sacrificed hundreds of thousands of lives because Kashmir is an integral part of Pakistan and Kashmiris consider themselves as Pakistanis. Kashmir and Pakistan cannot be separated from each other,” he declared.
Speaking as the chief guest at the launching ceremony of distinguished diplomat Arif Kamal’s book titled “Reminiscences of My Wanderings” here at the University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, he noted that despite facing numerous difficulties including Indian and global pressure and the disintegration, Pakistan had not changed its principled stand on Kashmir.
About the bilateral talks with India, the state president said that the bilateral negotiations did not succeed in the past because to India, the first objective of the exercise was to consolidate its hold on occupied Kashmir.
“During these negotiations, India had been attempting to seek the endorsement of its occupation of Kashmir or to maintain at least the status quo,” he said adding that India had never considered the stand of Pakistan and the Kashmiri people and it had always made a bid to keep the Kashmiris out of every diplomatic process.
Sardar Masood Khan said that Pakistan had always desired to involve the Kashmiri people in the diplomatic process. He suggested that whatever initiative is taken on Kashmir in future, should be through trilateral arrangement or the international community and for this purpose the genuine representatives of the Kashmiri people whether they are from occupied Kashmir or Azad Kashmir, should be made sit on the negotiating table.
Commenting on the book of diplomat Arif Kamal, the AJK president said that when a diplomat performs his duties abroad, he is not an individual but the whole country he represents, and this can be seen in the book also.
Director General Institute of Strategic Studies and former Secretary Foreign Affairs Aizaz Chaudhry said that revival of Hindutva doctrine by Narendra Modi after coming to power, is proof that the two-nation theory of our elders before the creation of Pakistan was justified. He lamented that the recent visit of the pro-India Kashmiri politicians to Delhi had divided the voice of the Kashmiri people thereby hurting the Kashmir cause.
Vice-Chancellor University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Prof Dr. Kalim Abbasi in his welcome address said that on the instructions of the state president, the University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir is establishing a special center under the Institute of Kashmir Studies in order to carry forward the research on Kashmir.
The Vice Chancellor said that the University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir organized the book launch ceremony of Ambassador Arif Kamal is an attempt to restore our students’ broken relationship with the books.
Quoting a famous dictum that “A reading nation is a leading nation”, VC Abbasi expressed his dismay over rapidly decline of reading habit in our society and said it is evident from the low attendance in our public and private libraries.
The ceremony was also addressed among others, by Chairman Senate’s foreign affairs committee Mushahid Hussain Syed, former Secretaries foreign affairs Shamshad Ahmed and Aizaz Chaudhry, Vice-Chancellor of the AJK University Prof Dr Kalim Abbasi, journalist Ijaz Haider, Prof Dr. Nazir Ahmed and former Secretary AJK government Akram Sohail.