Pak PM Gilani seeks meaningful dialogue on Kashmir

Islamabad: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani today asked India to hold a "meaningful" dialogue with Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir issue, which he contended was at the centre of tensions in South Asia.

"I urge India to enter into a meaningful and result-oriented dialogue with Pakistan on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir," Gilani said in a message read out at a joint session of the legislative assembly and council of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in Muzaffarabad.

India`s refusal to implement relevant UN Security Council resolutions has blocked the way to a durable peace in the region, contended Gilani, who was scheduled to address the joint session but had to cancel his visit to Muzaffarabad due to bad weather and poor visibility.

Gilani offered Pakistan`s "unconditional willingness" to discuss all issues, including the issue of Kashmir, with India.

He said sincerity and seriousness should remain the basic fundamentals of the dialogue process and that the participation of Kashmiris is essential for any effort to resolve the issue of Jammu and Kashmir.

Gilani also reiterated the pledge of the Pakistani people to "continue to extend moral, political and diplomatic support to Kashmiris in their just struggle for the right to self-determination".

Gilani`s remarks came a day ahead of a scheduled meeting between the Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan on the sidelines of a SAARC meet in Bhutan.

The top diplomats are expected to discuss ways to revive the stalled peace process between the two countries.

The premier`s message, read out by PoK speaker, claimed that the Kashmir dispute involves "fundamental rights and the principle of self-determination".

Gilani said: "We cannot ignore the responsibility in addressing the miseries and sufferings of innocent people".

Pakistan remains firmly committed to its principled stance on Kashmir based on relevant UN Security Council resolutions, he said.

"The Kashmir dispute remains close to the heart of every Pakistani and the future of both Pakistan and Kashmir is linked," he added.

He said the alleged rights violations in Kashmir have been observed by the international community and noted by the world media.

"The Jammu and Kashmir issue remains an unfulfilled agenda of the United Nations," he said.

Gilani claimed the "struggle" in Jammu and Kashmir was the result of "human rights abuses perpetrated by the Indian security forces".

He added: "The peaceful indigenous and widespread uprising of the Kashmiri people has demonstrated that the issue of Jammu and Kashmir cannot be ignored".

Gilani sought the world community`s support for the people of Kashmir for their right to self-determination.

"We salute their sacrifices and determination to hold high the banner of freedom to defend their dignity and honour," he said.

"We solemnly affirm our unstinted support to the just struggle of Kashmiri people to safeguard their fundamental rights, including the right to self-determination as enshrined in UN resolutions," Gilani added in his message.