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APHC chairman welcomes Powell’s statement as realistic

SRINAGAR Oct 17 (NNI): "APHC believes that the statement of US Secretary of State is realistic and he has admitted the centrality of the Kashmir issue," said the Chairman of the alliance, Abdul Ghani Bhat here in an interview.
Referring to the statement of Colin Powel, Bhat said at the same time, he (Powel) said the aspirations of the people of Kashmir should be respected. "This is in complete conformity with the stand of Kashmir leadership. His statement should be declared not only realistic but also based on farsightedness in the present scenario. We believe that it is a major progress. The United States had in the past been of the view that Kashmir is a disputed territory, which should be resolved in accordance with the will of the people of the state. And to arrive at a solution, all parties to the disputes should hold meaningful dialogue," Abdul Ghani Bhat added.
He said that there still is a difference between the positions of India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue. There are difference between the two countries since the very beginning. But when State Secretary of a super power says anything, it certainly carries much weight. Such an assertion is not only considered as acceptable but also believed to be practicable, he added.
When asked to comment on the statement of Indian Foreign Ministry that talks would only be held with Pakistan when it stops cross-border terrorism, he said that the Indian statement is tantamount to overlook the facts.
"India and Pakistan had wars on Kashmir, their relations were strained only because of the issue of Kashmir, the poverty and backwardness in India and Pakistan is also due to Kashmir dispute. Therefore, it is wrong to say that Kashmir is not a disputed territory,"Abdul Ghani Bhat observed.
He question as to how India can say this in the presence of UN resolutions which were signed by Delhi itself. "Under these resolutions Kashmir was declared not only a disputed territory but both India and Pakistan agreed to grant right of self determination to the people of Kashmir. Therefore, Indian statement is nothing but an ‘ostrich-like’ approach," the Kashmiri leader asserted.
He emphasised that the armed insurgency in Kashmir was not started on the instigation of any body. It is not even rebellion rather it is armed struggle.
The Kashmir issue has been lingering on for the past 53 years and when all democratic and political means were closed, the Kashmiri youth adopted the path violence to counter the violence against them. It will not incorrect if it is stated that they adopted the path of violence in self-defence. The whole world has started realising the fact that if violence is to be ended, the very causes of the violence should be removed. Therefore, the very roots of the Kashmir dispute will have to be explored. And these roots are that the Kashmir’s future has not so far been decided and the matter is still unresolved, therefore, the people should be asked what they want. They should be asked with which country they would like to live. This is the real problem. And as this issue is being seriously felt, therefore, George Fernandes statement in which he used strong words cannot be declared as realistic rather it is the outcome of confusion, the APHC Chairman added.–NNI

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