Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Kashmiris must be party to any solution to Kashmir issue: Moeed Yusuf

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Prime minister’s aide Moeed Yusuf today said that Pakistan was ready to hold talks with India provided Kashmir would be included as a third party.

In an interview published on Indian media outlet The Wire, Yusuf revealed that India had expressed a “desire for conversation” but said that Pakistan’s agreement to talks would be conditional.

This is the first time a Pakistani government official has given an interview to an Indian news outlet since India repealed occupied Kashmir’s special status last year. Indian journalist Karan Thapar interviewed the premier’s special assistant virtually.

“What Kashmiris feel is a separate issue,” Indian Journalist

The conditions cited were the release of political prisoners, lifting of the crippling military siege in the valley, and a reversal of the illegal stripping of the region’s special status.

“What the Kashmiris feel is a separate issue,” said Karan Thapar, the interviewer, and Moeed was quick to correct him saying that,” If India thinks it has permanently changed the demographic and geographic status of the region and that is not against the UN charter then India is a rogue state.”

Read more: Pakistan’s enemy is naked in its aggression, Dr. Moeed Yusuf

In response to a question where Yusuf was asked if it was hypocritical of Pakistan to protest the change of Kashmir’s status when it was itself changing Gilgit-Baltistan’s, Yusuf said “no decision has been made” regarding granting Gilgit Baltistan a provincial status but added that the matter was the subject of “public debate”.

“One: no decision has been made. Two: there is a public debate. The public debate has not been generated by the government of Pakistan. It’s been generated by the people of Gilgit Baltistan. They have been saying this for two or three years now. What are they saying? ‘We want to be fully integrated with Pakistan.’

He also said that the public debate had come up because the people of Gilgit Baltistan demanded it.

Read more: Dr. Moeed Yusuf appointed SAPM on National Security: What can Pakistan Expect?

“If it was so confirmed and so done, where is the act?” Yusuf said.

“Now you tell me Karan, if a people is not treated well, would they ever want that? I’ve never heard the Kashmiri Muslims talk about this in the occupied territory,” Yusuf said.

He further said that Pakistan’s decision would be in line with the resolutions passed by the United Nations Security Council.

Pakistan’s decision to be in line with UN resolutions: Moeed Yusuf

He said that Pakistan’s decision on the matter would be in line with the resolutions passed by the United Nations Security Council. He also stated that India had never respected the UN charters of decisions and they should hold a plebiscite in the Kashmir valley to see the wish of the people there.

“If the resolutions bar a permanent change of territorial status, there will be no permanent change,” Yusuf stated, adding that the matter was being debated in Pakistan since “this is how democratic societies” work.

Read more: FM Qureshi: Kashmiris have rejected Indian annexation of Occupied Kashmir

“Democratic societies, by the way, do not bring in 180,000 troops to change the status of a territory. That’s the difference between Pakistan and India right now,” Yusuf said, referring to heavy Indian military deployment in occupied Kashmir since August 2019.

The interview looked more like a debate, with heated arguments dominating the conversation. Thapar the Indian interviewer kept deflecting the insinuation that the wishes of the Kashmiri people be the deciding factor in the status of the region.

GVS News Desk

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