Arguing that the unresolved Kashmir issue poses a threat to the region and
the world, Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf today asked the
international community to push India to resolve the lingering dispute.
"The Kashmir issue is not only a threat for the peace and prosperity of South
Asia but also for the entire world and the world should take notice of this
vital issue and pressurise India to resolve this lingering issue on the UN
agenda according to the wishes of the people of Kashmir," he said.
Addressing an official function organised tonight to mark Kashmir Solidarity
Day, which has been observed by Islamabad on February 5 since 1990, Ashraf said
Pakistan has always supported dialogue with the Indian government as wars are
not a solution to problems.
Pakistan wants "good and peaceful relations with all its neighbours", he told a
gathering of political leaders and federal ministers.
Noting that UN resolutions called for a plebiscite in Kashmir, he alleged India
had "forcefully occupied" the region and was ruling it against the wishes of the
Ashraf was also quoted by state-run Radio Pakistan as saying that "unfortunately
India demonstrated intransigence for resolution" of the Kashmir issue.
He claimed that a "plebiscite is the right way to give the Kashmiris their right
The premier's remarks marked the first time any top Pakistani leader has raised
the issue of plebiscite in recent years.
However, observers said his comments could have been made with an eye on the
upcoming general election.
Ashraf further said the Kashmir dispute was a human rights issue.
"My message to the world is that Kashmir is not an issue between Pakistan and
India but it is the issue of 1,600,000 Kashmiri people – a human issue which
needs resolution according to the wishes of the people of Kashmir," he
He assured the Kashmiris of Pakistan's moral, political and diplomatic support
at all regional and international forums.
President Asif Ali Zardari and PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari too raised
the Kashmir issue at every forum and stood by the Kashmiris in their movement,
The gathering was also addressed by Minister for Kashmir Affairs Manzoor Wattoo
and Parliamentary Kashmir Committee chairman Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
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