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Mir Waiz Umar Farooq calls on Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan

Islamabad, December 19, 2012 (PPI-OT): A Delegation of All Parties Hurriat Conference (APHC) led by Mir Waiz Umar Farooq called on Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan, Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo in Islamabad.

The meeting noted that All Parties Hurriat Conference favours improvement of relations between Pakistan and India along with enhancement of trade ties but this should be linked with the resolution of the Kashmir issue according to the aspirations of the people of Kashmir. It was agreed that to facilitate visits to religious shrines and other places, the set guideline agreed between the two countries be followed.

The meeting observed that composite dialogue between the two countries be made more meaningful by including Kashmiri leadership in the dialogue process. Above all India should respect the human rights in Kashmir. The meeting emphasized that more trade routes across the Line of Control (LOC) be opened to facilitate the movement of goods and people. Similarly transport facilities must also be ensured.

Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo while talking to the APHC delegation said that Pakistan is fully committed to the Kashmiris right of self determination and supports Kashmir cause politically, diplomatically and morally at all international fora including the UN. The Minister added that that a strong and economically prosperous Pakistan will be much more capable of strongly projecting the Kashmir case to the world.

He said the present Government of PPP under the leadership of President Asif Ali Zardari has laid the foundation of a strong Pakistan by strengthening institutions. He said PPP has restored the 1973 constitution in its original form which is a great achievement. Institutions of Parliament, Judiciary, Election Commission as well as the accountability process have been strengthened in such a manner that other countries in the region are following Pakistan’s example.

Mian Manzoor Wattoo informed the APHC delegation that he has recently conducted a comparative study on the development sectors in IHK and AJK to evaluate level of progress between the two. “We have established three medical colleges, universities, airports. Road network has been expanded, education and health care infrastructure improved to provide the people of Azad Kashmir better facilities and higher standard of life”, the Minister mentioned.

He urged India to provide the people of occupied Kashmir an opportunity to exercise their right to self determination, in the same manner as Pakistan had done by organizing a free, fair and impartial election in Azad Kashmir. Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo reiterated that war was no more an option in this nuclear age and Kashmir dispute can only be settled through dialogue and pursuing India to hold plebiscite in Kashmir according to the UN resolutions.

APHC delegation comprised of Professor Abdul Ghani Bhatt, Maulana Abbas Ansari, Agha Syed Hasan Moosvi, Bilal Ghani Lone, Mukhtar Ahmad Waza and Muhammad Musaddiq Adil. Senior leaders of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir also attended the meeting.

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