LAHORE, June 14: PML(Q) leader Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain has supported the idea of an independent Kashmir and said that Pakistanis would accept ‘any resolution’ of the Kashmir dispute provided it came from the Islamic countries.

The former interior minister was speaking at the Meet-the-Press programme of the Lahore Press Club here on Friday.

He said that the Kashmir issue could be resolved only by the sincerity and seriousness of the leaders of the world community. If they decided to resolve the issue, then the proposal regarding the future of Kashmir should come from the Muslim countries so that it could easily be digested by the people of Pakistan, he said.

Explaining his idea of an independent Kashmir, Chaudhry Shujaat said that Jammu should be given to India and Azad Kashmir to Pakistan, creating an independent state in the main valley.

“This proposal was given by Col Moamar Qadhafi. This is the best resolution of the dispute provided China agrees to it,” he said.

Partly criticizing and praising the government, the PML(Q) leader said Gen Pervez Musharraf had not staged a coup against Nawaz Sharif. It was the latter who had created an occasion for the former to take over.

“We ourselves had given Gen Musharraf a chance to topple the government. He was writing proposals for army’s assistance to the government in the plane while returning from Sri Lanka when we created the scene,” he said.

Chaudhry Shujaat agreed that under the constitution, the prime minister had the right to replace the chief of the army staff. No constitution permitted his dismissal when he was travelling in a plane.

He said that there had been no decision on fixing BA as the basic qualification for contesting general elections. If this happened his party would challenge it in the court, he said.

The PML(Q) leader urged the government to refrain from touching all Islamic provisions in the constitution. There was no harm in giving a constitutional package but the original spirit of the 1973 Constitution should not be undermined, he said.

He said that all amendments by the Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Zia and Nawaz Sharif government were introduced with some vested interest and it was necessary to undo them.

The correction was specially necessary in the amendment introduced by the Nawaz government regarding the president’s powers to dismiss the assembly.

There should be a system of check and balance in the constitution so that no president, prime minister or the chief minister could take any negative step.

But instead of the dissolution of the assembly, the constitution should provide for the dismissal of the government, Chaudhry Shujaat said.

He said that the present government would also seek rectification of its steps by the next parliament. “We will rectify all constitutional steps taken the present government if given a chance to form the government,” he said.

Chaudhry Shujaat took exception to the government’s stance that elimination of riba would destroy national economy.

The government should correct itself and check the public opinion and Islamic injunctions before making any such statement, he said.

He said he did not fully agree with the government’s Afghan policy. But its unpopular decision in this connection had saved the country from destruction by India, America and its allies.

The PML(Q) leader said the government should provide relief to the people, specially traders and industrialists, so as to improve country’s economic conditions.

He said under all previous martial laws the robbers and ruffians used to melt away. “This is the first military government which is concentrated only on terrifying politicians.”

Chaudhry Shujaat said despite efforts the government had not been able to destroy the institution of politicians in the country and “we now are moving towards elections.”

He said as the interior minister he had got conducted a survey of all religious seminaries and had found none of them indulging in promoting violence. That the seminaries taught violence was a propaganda and “this episode has started after the attack on America,” he said.

Chaudhry Shujaat said the PML(Q) would not accept any change in its structure after its merger with other factions. The party had not received any proposal to have a share in the present government, he said.

He said his party would make adjustments with right people on seat-to-seat basis for the forthcoming general elections. It would make no difference if Shahbaz Sharif contested the elections from abroad or Pakistan. “As to how we could object if Benazir Bhutto or Shahbaz Sharif could come here to contest the elections,” he said.

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