LAHORE – Azad Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front leader Yaseen Malik has said that freezing the Kashmir issue is not acceptable to the Kashmiris.

Addressing a joint press conference along with Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Syed Munawar Hasan at Mansoora on Sunday, he said that ever since dialogue had started between Pakistan and India, there was no mention of the Kashmir issue and the Kashmiris had the impression that the issue was being frozen. Earlier, he held a detailed meeting with Munawar Hasan and discussed in detail the government stance on Kashmir issue.

Yaseen Malik said the governments of Pakistan and India should not hope for a lasting peace in the region without the solution of the Kashmir issue. He said initially, India had desired a peaceful atmosphere for beginning talks. Accordingly, the Kashmiris gave up their armed and started a peaceful struggle. He said at present, there was an ideal atmosphere for dialogue and both the governments should try to find out a peaceful solution to the issue. He said since the Kashmiris gave up armed struggle and began a peaceful movement, India had begun their genocide in a bid to crush their movement. He warned that if Indian and Pakistan were unable to find a peaceful solution, the Kashmiris would be forced to begin armed struggle again. He said that the past Pakistani governments had been mentioning of the Kashmir issue one way or the other but the present regime was not even talking of the issue. The Kashmir Committee should also discharge its responsibility.

He said that after 9/11, the world community had decided to solve the international issue through peaceful means. The international community should also fulfill its responsibility and allow the Kashmiris their rights. He said that personally, he was in favour of a sovereign Kashmir. However, he said, the Kashmiris should be allowed to decide whether they wanted to join Pakistan or India or have a sovereign state.

Syed Munawar Hasan said that the Kashmir cause was not of the Kashmiris’ alone. They were fighting Pakistan’s war but the government, political parties and even the media were ignoring the issue while the Kashmir Committee had also failed to highlight it at international level.

He said that the Kashmiris were trying to protect Pakistan’s lifeline. He appealed to the political parties, media, Kashmir Committee and the government to focus on the Kashmir issue again so that the Kashmiris got courage and their movement gained strength again.

He said the policy change on Kashmir by the Pervez Musharraf government had done great harm to the cause while the present elected rulers were also toeing the same line. He said that Kashmir Committee was not independent and was only following the government path.