ISLAMABAD - President Asif Ali Zardari will soon visit Muzaffarabad and address joint session of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly and AJK Council to reiterate government’s policy on Kashmir and the struggle of its people for their rights as well as to take stock of the situation in Kashmir.
The president said this on Thursday when a delegation of Kashmiri leadership representing the entire political spectrum of AJK and the APHC, which called on him at the Aiwan-e-Sadr to express the sentiments of Kashmiri people in the wake of hanging of Afzal Guru during which the delegation also invited the President to visit Muzaffarabad and address join session of the assembly and council.
The delegation was led by Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed and included among others President AJK Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan, Raja Mohammad Farooq Haider Khan , Opposition Leader (President PML-N, AJK), Ch. Muhammad Yasin, Gen (Retd) Sardar M. Anwar Khan, Former President AJK Amanullah Khan, Supreme Head J&K Liberation Front, Abdul Rashid Turabi, Ameer Jama’at-i-Islami, Maulana Saeed Yousuf, Ameer JUI(F), Justice (Retd) Abdul Majid Malik, President J&K Liberation League, M. Tahir Khokhar, MQM, Mehmood Ahmed Sagir, APHC (Mir Waiz Group), Mr. Ghulam M. Safi, APHC(S. Ali Gillani Group), M. Rafique Daar, JKLF(Yasin Malik Group) and others.
Senator A. Rehman Malik, Spokesperson to the President Senator Farhatullah Babar, Secretary to President Nasreen Haque, and other senior officials were also present during the meeting.
Spokesperson to the President Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the meeting today was scheduled within a day of the prime minister AJK’s letter to the president, saying that the Kashmiri leadership from across the political divide and the line of control wanted to call on him to express the sentiment of the Kashmiris in the after math of the Afzal Guru hanging and the situation in area with reference to gross human rights violations taking place in the area. “The President invited the Kashmiri leadership rescheduling other engagements,” he said.
Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the meeting started with offering of fateha for Afzal Guru. Fateha was also offered for Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto as well as the innumerable martyrs of democracy and the war against militancy.
At the outset of the meeting after offering fateha, Prime Minister AJK Chaudhry Abdul Majeed summarizing the sentiments of Kashmiris while condemning the hanging of Afzal Guru said that such acts cannot deter the Kashmiri people from pursuing their legitimate struggle for freedom.
The delegation appreciated the commitment of the Government of Pakistan towards the cause of Kashmiri people and hailed the resolution adopted in the National Assembly of Pakistan condemning the execution of Afzal Guru and demanding that his body be returned to his family.
The spokesperson said that the president while reiterating commitment of the Government and people of Pakistan towards the inalienable right of their Kashmiri brethren for choosing their destiny said that Pakistan will continue to provide moral, diplomatic and political support to the Kashmiri people at all available forum and strive for a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the aspiration of people.
The president said that Pakistan had also expressed its serious concerns over the highhanded measures that were taken in the wake of Afzal Guru’s hanging that included arrests and detention of Hurriyat leaders, imposition of curfew, media blackout and other coercive measures.
The president said that the Kashmiris despite rendering huge sacrifices have remained resolute and steadfast in the face of oppression.
He said that Pakistan believes that the use of force, coercion and violation of basic human rights can never succeed in suppressing an indigenous struggle for a just cause. “Their perseverance will bear fruit,” the president said.
Discussing recent developments, the Kashmiri leadership hailed the Iran-Pakistan peace pipeline project and transfer of operation and maintenance of Gawadar Port to China as positive developments that augur well for the betterment and socio-economic development of the people and said that a prosperous Pakistan was essential for the success of the Kashmiri cause.
Ghulam M. Safi of APHC (S. Ali Gillani Group) presented to the President a book by Syed Ali Gillani on his captivity in Indian jails. Abdul Rashid Turabi, Ameer Jama’at-i-Islami also presented a copy of his book to the president on freedom movement in Kashmir.
The meeting lasted for over one hour, said the spokesperson.