MUZAFFARABAD, July 19: People in Azad Jammu and Kashmir held rallies and public meetings on Monday to mark the "Accession (of Kashmir) to Pakistan Day" , but a pro-independence group called upon both Islamabad and New Delhi to quit the Himalayan region to pave way for its complete independence.
In Muzaffarabad, a big public meeting was held under the aegis of Kashmir Liberation Cell in the premises of the old Civil Secretariat. Participants included the activists of the ruling Muslim Conference from different areas besides government servants and Kashmiri refugees.
On this day in 1947, the Muslim Conference working party had passed a resolution at the residence of Sardar Ibrahim Khan in Srinagar, calling for the Muslim majority state's accession to Pakistan.
The public meeting was addressed by AJK Prime Minister Sardar Sikandar Hayat, MC leader Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan, All Parties Hurriyat Conference AJK chapter convenor Mohammad Farooq Rehmani, Legislative Assembly speaker Sardar Siab Khalid and others.
In his speech, the PM called upon India and Pakistan to facilitate the intra-Kashmiri dialogue. "Kashmiris will never wish India and Pakistan to fight with each other. Both governments should facilitate meetings between the Kashmiris and ask them to find ways by themselves to amicably resolve this longstanding dispute," he said.
"I am sure the Kashmiris from both sides would come up with an acceptable and amicable solution to the problem," he said. On India-Pakistan talks, he said the process could not succeed without taking the Kashmiris into confidence.
The AJK PM dismissed speculations that Pakistan's ruling Muslim League was being established in AJK. He also came down upon some (Urdu language) newspapers which he said were spreading disinformation about the government.
"Such papers would not be allowed entry into Azad Kashmir," he announced amid clapping by the MC workers. Speaking on the occasion, Sardar Qayyum criticized the recent statement of Richard Armitage.
"There is no training camp. Kashmiris are fighting for the past 14 years, and they are not dependent on any training camps," he said. He pointed out that India had deployed 800,000 troops in held Kashmir besides erecting 16-foot high electrified fence.
About the talks, he said participation in the process was the right of the Kashmiris and not any favour. "Everyone should realize the fact that without involving the Kashmiris, no decision, however fascinating it may appear, will be acceptable."