ISLAMABAD: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Fazlur Rehman said that India should withdraw its forces from occupied Kashmir and remove the black laws imposed there, adding that the deployment of forces in the state meant that everything was not well there.
Rehman, who is also the Chairman of Parliament’s special committee on Kashmir, was responding to a statement by Rajya Sabha member and former Indian deputy High Commissioner in Karachi Mani Shankar Aiyar, who had commented earlier in the day that a military solution to the Kashmir issue was not possible.
Aiyar, who was originally born in Lahore before partition, had recently visited Pakistan, where he called on both countries to move forward on peace using diplomatic means.
Rahman seconded Aiyar’s position that the Kashmir issue could not be resolved militarily and that a solution was a imperative for durable peace in the South Asia.
Aiyar had called for greater trade, exchange of sports and cultural delegations for burgeoning peace in the region.
The JUI-F chief added that despite resumption of trade ties and exchange of various delegations in the past 65 years, peace could not prevail in the region. Wars had hindered development in both nations because resources were spent on military, instead of economic development. Hence, India should withdraw forces from occupied Kashmir, and deregulate black laws there.
The committee chairman made it clear that Pakistan wanted resolution of the Kashmir issue in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people, and not that of India. India has maintained that the state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and that there was no freedom movement in the state.
Rehman pointed out that if all was well in the state, why has India deployed around 800,000 security personnel in the state, imposed authoritarian laws.
He added that the purpose of sending delegations and interlocutors like Dileep Padgaonkar for dialogue with the Kashmiris, is to shove the Kashmir issue under the carpet.
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