ISLAMABAD: Resolution of the Kashmir issue is the key for the peace and prosperity of 1.5 billion people in South Asia. Any positive move towards the resolution of the issue will only yield fruit when India accepts the right to self-determination of Kashmiris who have been struggling for their freedom for 63 years.
These views were expressed by progressive Pakistani politicians at a reception hosted in honour of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front leader Yasin Malik by Advocate Nisar Shah, central leader of Labour Party Pakistan, said a press release issued here on Sunday.
The parties were all in favour of the right to self-determination of the Kashmir people, including the right to have their own country. They believe that ongoing trade dialogues between Pakistan and India could only be successful if Kashmiris were granted their most basic right — freedom.
According to the press release, the chauvinistic and militaristic policy of Pakistan and India’s ruling elites has pushed the region towards destruction, leaving the masses of the region with “absolute poverty, unemployment and economic instability”.
Around 80,000 Kashmiris lost their lives in the last 63 years while Pakistani and Indian rulers kept coming up with unviable solutions.
Malik said that the working classes of Pakistan and India and progressive forces in the two countries should come forward and further the cause of the Kashmir people by putting pressure on their ruling elites to free Kashmir. India should pull out its troops so that the region could see durable peace, he added.
Malik said he was extremely happy that Indian novelist-cum-activist Arundhati Roy visited Kashmir on his request and raised this issue in India. Pinning hopes on progressive forces of India, he expressed his hope that they would also raise their voice for the rights of Kashmiri people and support their right to self-determination.
Nisar Shah said that through Malik, he wanted to convey to the Kashmiris that Pakistan’s working class and progressive forces fully support their right to self-determination.
Former National Assembly member and National Party leader Dr Abdul Hai Baloch, Communist Party of Pakistan Chairman Jameel Malik, Awami Party Pakistan leader Malik Ayub, Sairaiki National Party President Abdul Hameed Kanjo and Progressive Youth Front leader Abrar Azad also attended the reception.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 7th, 2012.