Speakers link prosperity of South Asia to resolution of Kashmir issue; present 3-dimensional solution to the issue; stress modern education to get internal stability
By Faisal Aziz
SARGODHA: Speakers at the National Conference were of unanimous view that the Aman Ki Asha, an initiative launched by the Jang Group and The Times of India, is the only ray of hope to resolve all the issues with India peacefully, including Kashmir, as aggression is no solution in the present scenario.
The conference titled ‘Kashmir and Peace in South Asia’ was held at the Sargodha University under the auspices of the International Relations and Political Science Department on Thursday.
The conference was presided over by UoS Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Akram Chaudhry while JUI-F chief and Special Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir Chairman Maulana Fazlur Rehman was the chief guest. Renowned political analyst Prof Dr Hassan Askari of the Punjab University highlighted the significance of the issue as principal speaker.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman said that Kashmir was the core issue in South Asia and the prosperity of the area was attached to its resolution. He said that the Kashmir issue was in the ICU after the 9/11 and the war on terror had damaged the struggle of the Kashmiris. “Kashmir was the focal point of the Pakistan’s foreign policy, but the issue’s importance has decreased during the last five years. Now it is at the merciless hands of the so-called war on terror,” he maintained.
The JUI-F chief said that US President Barack Obama had urged India to resolve the Kashmir issue during his election campaign, but he did nothing in this regard which was the main reason of tension between two nuclear powers. “The Simla Accord was not true representation of the Kashmiris. But it started composite dialogue between India and Pakistan. After it, only the Lahore Declaration supported the Kashmir cause while India accepted the sensitivity of the issue and agreed to put it on the agenda of talks,” he said.
He maintained that the Kargil War sabotaged the Lahore Declaration and Pervez Musharraf went to India for the Agra Summit afterwards, but all in vain. “Internal stability is the key which provides us stimulation to present our case before the world. Unluckily, Pakistan is presently fighting the war of its sovereignty. How could it raise the voice of the Kashmiris?” he questioned.
Elaborating the issue, Maulana Fazlur Rehman said that there were four phases of the Kashmir issue – 1948-1971, 1971-1985, 1985-2001 and 2001 to onward. “After the 1971 war, we were unable to talk to India on equal terms. The Simla Accord was the practical presentation and even though the name of Kashmir was not included in it.”
He said that the ruling mode had changed after the World War II and the now the financial institutions were ruling the world. He was of the view that the concept of the independent world was to make more slaves while political, financial and even nuclear freedom was attached to the conditions imposed by the IMF, the World Bank, the CTBT and the NPT.
He said that the frontline state, Pakistan, was suffering due to terrorism while terrorism was promoted during the last 10 years instead of reducing after steps taken against it. He said that the Parliament had passed a unanimous resolution to stop the present war on terror and review it, but the government did not follow its recommendations. “The country is at the mercy of invaders who have occupied its economy and political situation.”
He added that now efforts were on to make Punjab the battlefield of the war against terror while unseen forces were trying to find justification for it. The JUI-F chief said that India was engaged in a proxy war against Pakistan from Afghanistan while America had assigned a role to India in this regard. “Power is important to get one’s right, but the sovereignty of the poor countries is linked to financial and political power. Unluckily, Pakistan has lost both powers. India is now preparing to enter the developed world in the next 10 years.” He said that the eastern borders of the country should be made safe as the attention had been diverted to the western borders with Afghanistan, which did not accept the border and termed it as the Durand Line.
Dr Hassan Askari, the principal speaker, presented a three-dimensional solution to the Kashmir issue, saying that the option of war had lost its importance after a change in the ruling style. “The first option is to resume composite dialogues towards an acceptable solution to the issue,” he said, adding that the country must be equipped with modern education to get strength from inside and then it should talk to India.
He was of the view that the self-reliance policy should be adopted to resolve the issue. “Only internal stability can give us power to initiate composite dialogues with India and convince it for the resolution of the issue.”
He said that the second option was utilised during the Musharraf regime and trade was started on both sides of the border with an exchange of cultural traditions, but they had also almost suspended now.
He said that the resolution of the Kashmir issue presented by former foreign minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri was not viable. He added that the United Nations Resolution passed by the Security Council in 1948 did not bind India to give the right of self-determination to the Kashmiris until the resolution should not fall in the chapter 7, which bounded India to hold a referendum in the Held Kashmir. Dr Hassan Askari was of the view that Pakistan had less diplomatic influence to convince the Security Council to pass the resolution under the chapter 7. He said that the world forces would not take interest in the issue. “Once Pakistan tried to move the resolution but China asked it to withdraw it as Indian sympathy was dominant in the Security Council,” he concluded.
UoS Vice-Chancellor Dr Akram Chaudhry, in his presidential address, said: “We have even failed in presenting the Kashmir issue in the Muslim world and there is need to expedite diplomatic efforts to resolve the issue in a peaceful manner.” He said that the Kashmiris were living in bad conditions and they had forgotten to sing songs. “The literature of Kashmir is incomplete without its affiliation with Pakistan.” Social Sciences Dean Dr Rasheed Khan also spoke.