ISLAMABAD   -  Welcoming Pakistan’s principled stand over holding talks with India on Kashmir, Secretary General of Washington-based World Kashmir Awareness Forum (WAKF) Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai has said that people of Kashmir will welcome any talks between India and Pakistan as long as the genuine leadership of the people of Jammu & Kashmir is the part of process of negotiations.

“We steadfastly maintain that tripartite talks are the only way to resolve the Kashmir issue that has dominated the South Asian region for over 73 years,” Dr. Fai said in a statement received here yesterday.

He said that they (Kashmiris) maintain this constructive position, despite the outrage caused and the indescribable sufferings inflicted on them by the barbarities of the Indian occupied forces.

It is to be mentioned here that a couple of days back Dr. Moeed Yusuf, Special Advisor to Prime Minister of Pakistan on National Security and Strategic Policy, had disclosed in an interview with an Indian journalist that Pakistan stands for conversation that moves them forward. He, however, had emphasized that there are three parties to the dispute, Pakistan, India and Kashmiris.

“The people of Kashmir will welcome any talks between India and Pakistan as long as the genuine leadership of the people of Jammu & Kashmir is the part of process of negotiations,” maintained the WAKF secretary general.

He further said that the people of Kashmir want to emphasize that as the dispute involves three parties, any attempt to strike a deal between two parties without the association of the third party, will fail to yield a credible settlement. The contemporary history of South Asia is abundantly clear that bilateral efforts have never met with success. 

The agreement between India and pro-India Kashmiri leaders, like Sheikh Abdullah, failed because they sought to bypass Pakistan, he mentioned.

All such attempts served only to prolong the dispute, leaving the basic issue unsettled and preserved the stalemate, he remarked and added that no longer can the mere holding of talks between India and Pakistan defuse the situation.

Dr. Fai recalled that during the 72-year history of the dispute, India has merely used the façade of talks to evade settlement and ease internal or external pressure. Today, India is again in confrontation with China on one side and with Pakistan on the other. “We earnestly hope that the Indian government’s message to Pakistan ‘for a desire to have a conversation’ will not be one more step in that direction to sabotage the real intent of the talks through diversionary tactics,” he said.

The WAKF secretary general termed Dr. Moeed Yusuf’s approach based on pragmatism when he said that there can be no progress in talks if India does not release all political prisoners, reverse military siege in Kashmir, withdraw the Domicile Law and end human rights violations.

He mentioned that the people of Kashmir believe that the conversion of Line of Control (LoC) into an international border is a non-solution. Such an idea is an insult to the intelligence of the people of Kashmir. They fought against status quo and as Dr. Moeed Yusuf said ‘Line of Control is a problem and cannot become a solution.’

He hoped that UN Secretary General would maintain and intensify his watch over the situation in Kashmir. The UN should play a mediatory role over the Kashmir dispute or it should task a person of an international standing to bring all the three parties together.