MUZAFFARABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan has said that conversion of the Line of Control (LoC) into an international border between India and Pakistan has never been considered a viable option to resolve the long-running Kashmir conflict.

Talking to journalists on Wednesday, he said Jammu and Kashmir was one entity and any move to disintegrate it would be an act of betrayal.

“Converting the LoC into an international border will be a betrayal of the sacrifices rendered by the Kashmiri people over the past seven decades for their right to self-determination,” Mr Khan said.

Stating that Kashmiris were shedding blood every day to get freedom from Indian occupation, he asserted that a majority of them (Kashmiris) wanted to attach their fate to Pakistan.

“This is amply evident from the fact that tens of thousands of people, attending the funerals of martyrs mowed down in fake encounters, chant the slogans ‘Hum Pakistani Hain, Pakistan Humara Hai’ (We are Pakistanis, Pakistan is ours),” he said.

“This visible surge of solidarity with Pakistan in India-held Kashmir sends a strong signal to the people of Pakistan and enhances their obligations for a robust political and diplomatic campaign,” he added.

He warned that turning the LoC into a permanent border would be just like sweeping the problem under the carpet.

“Self-determination is Kashmiris’ inalienable right and they are determined to achieve it … Their determination is proven from their unflinching sacrifices in spite of unprecedented savagery of more than 700,000 Indian troops,” he said.

He maintained that legally and politically it would be prudent to avoid making unilateral concessions until a serious engagement on the resolution of the Kashmir dispute started.

When asked to comment on former military ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf’s famous four-point formula for resolution of the Kashmir issue, Mr Khan said: “Probably it was a formula to maintain the geopolitical status quo in and around Jammu and Kashmir while trying to build trust between Pakistan, India and the Kashmiris”.

“Behind closed doors and in the backdoor corridors, the recipe prepared by emissaries and principals may have sounded practicable, but they have yet to pass the test of public endorsement of all sides.”

He said that idea of ‘free movement across the LoC’ without change of borders might have been a palliative and standby arrangement and not a lasting solution for Kashmiris.

Similarly, he said, self-governance without independence (of Kashmir) and a ‘joint supervision mechanism’ comprising India, Pakistan and Kashmiris would have been too complex and difficult a feat to achieve or manage for the three parties.

Published in Dawn, November 15th, 2018

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