Posted by: Administrator | 22 January, 2005

President address to Joint Session Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly

5 February 2002

President of Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf’s Address to the Joint Session of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly and Jammu and Kashmir Council

President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Anwar Khan Sahib, Prime Minister Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan Sahib, Speaker Azad Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, Chairman National Kashmir Committee, Sardar Qayyum Sahib, Distinguished Parliamentarians and Members of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Council, Ladies and gentlemen, Assalam-o-Alaikum.

5th of February has, over the years, become an important day for us as on this day the government and the people of Pakistan reaffirm their solidarity with their brothers and their sisters in the Indian Occupied Kashmir and reconfirm their unswerving and unequivocal legitimate support to the valiant struggle of the Kashmiri people for their inalienable right of self-determination. Today, we also renew our commitment to the implementation of the relevant UN Security Council Resolution pertaining to the Kashmir dispute and remind the international community, especially India, of the solemn pledge given to the people of Kashmir that they will be allowed to decide their future, while paying homage to the martyrs of the valiant Kashmiri struggle against illegal Indian occupation. I would like to assure my Kashmiri brothers and sisters that their sacrifices will not go in vain.

We salute the heroic people of Kashmir, who, despite the reign of terror let loose by the Indian Forces of Occupation have been waging a determined struggle for more than half a century to liberate themselves from the Indian colonial rule. Ladies and gentlemen; It was in 1948 that on behalf of the international community the United Nations Security Council promised the people of Jammu and Kashmir that they would be afforded an opportunity to decide whether they wish to join Pakistan or India through the democratic, method of a free and impartial plebiscite under United Nations auspices. Since then more than half a century has lapsed.

In fact, a new century has dawned and the people of Kashmir are still waiting for the fulfillment of this old pledge. The last 13 years have seen a particularly intense but tragic phase in the Kashmiri struggle for self-determination. The 700,000 strong Indian Occupation Force has resorted to an unprecedented suppression and human rights violations. During this period more than 80,000 Kashmiris have been martyred. Thousands have been tortured and maimed and thousands more are languishing in torture camps and detention centres. In short, the Kashmiri youth iii being virtually brutally and systematically decimated. Women have been a particular target of Indian Occupation Forces.

The nefarious objective of the Indians is to bludgeon the Kashmiri people into submission and to make them abandon their demand to exercise their right to determine their future. Ladies and gentlemen, The ten million people of the Occupied State cannot be denied, their right to freedom. Their right to decide their own future has not lapsed with the passage of time. The failure of the international community to ensure the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution has not made them any less valid. India is engaged in a sinister worldwide campaign to denigrate and malign the Kashmiri freedom movement. It alleges that liberation struggle in Kashmir is sponsored from outside by Pakistan and has left no stone unturned to portray it as Islamic fundamentalism and cross-border terrorism. It wants to hoodwink the international public opinion by playing on western apprehensions.

India accuses Pakistan of a proxy war in Kashmir. One is tempted to ask if the Kashmiri struggle is being sponsored and orchestrated from outside. Who are those 80,000 martyrs buried in the graveyards of Occupied Kashmir? Ladies and gentlemen, No outside actor, however powerful, can sustain a movement of such a scale and intensity for so long against the wishes of the people.

 The failure of the enormous Indian military machine to crush the freedom movement in Occupied Kashmir, despite the full use of the state repressive powers and the indiscriminate use of draconian laws, testifies to the strength, popularity and the indigenous character of the Kashmiri struggle. This struggle is rooted in the hearts and minds of the people of Kashmir.

It is being funded and sponsored by the sweat and blood of the valiant Kashmiri men and women and the steadfastness and determination of their leaders. India wants to impose a military solution on the basis of the status-quo, consolidating its occupation in defiance of the principles of the United Nations’ Charter and the Resolutions of the Security Council. Such attempts elsewhere in the world, have not succeeded. Departures from United Nations’ principles and United Nations’ decision have only prolonged the conflict and aggravated situations. Kashmir is no exception.

Like other international issues, the Kashmir dispute must also be resolved on the basis of the United Nations’ decisions and consistent with the wishes of the people of Kashmir. Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to categorically assure our Kashmiri brethren that the people and Government of Pakistan, and I, myself, would honour their commitment and will continue to extend full political, diplomatic and moral support to their just and noble struggle.

In my address to the nation on 12th January, I had announced a number of measures to make Pakistan a moderate democratic and progressive Islamic welfare state in accordance with the vision of the Quaid-i-Azam, while reiterating my determination to root out the dual scourge of extremism and sectarianism from our body politic.

I had banned five extremist organizations which were responsible for inciting extremism, sectarian hatred and violence in the country. Let me make it clear that I did not resort to these measures-under any kind of pressure or to appease anybody and I mean every word of it. There was no pressure on me on what I ought to be talking or I ought to be doing. All that I aid and all that I did .on the 12thi of January was my own idea derived from our discussions with all my colleagues. I acted only in the best interest of Pakistan. The decisions announced have not only been welcome in Pakistan they have been equally acclaimed by the international community. I am, however, disappointed at the cynical Indian reaction. Instead of responding positively to the hand of reconciliation extended by me, the Indian leadership has continued with its threatening noises. India persists with its massive deployment of troops and military assets along with our borders which has brought the two countries to a position of eyeball to eyeball confrontation.

This is brinkmanship at its most dangerous. Let it be very clear to all those in India who talk of aggression against Pakistan that we shall guard our sovereignty, our honour and our dignity very jealously. If war is imposed on Pakistan we will defend every inch of our soil with all the means at our disposal and with the last drop of our blood. Let there be no underestimation of our resolve. The Kashmir dispute remains central to relations between Pakistan and India. I have said this several times and I reiterate it again and let there be no confusion in this also that the Indian position that Kashmir is an integral part of India, is untenable and, therefore, unacceptable. While aspiring for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council, India continues to violate, with impunity, its resolution on Kashmir.

The Indian refusal to accept United Nations or any third party role in mediating or facilitating a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute is inconsistent with the purposes and principles of the United Nations’ Charter. The Kashmir dispute can neither be sidestepped nor wished away. It has to be addressed and addressed very seriously. We seek a peaceful and negotiated settlement in accordance with the wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. We are conscious that it can be an extended and difficult process. However, we will stay the course as long as the process is meaningful and sincere.

 We also appeal to the international community and particularly to influential countries to play an active role in resolving the Kashmir dispute. This is essential for lasting peace and harmony in the region and while I say this I call on international opinion-builders, the international community to play their role in facilitating and mediating a solution because bilateralism has not worked. This term of bilateralism, brought into negotiations by India, is a farce to avoid confronting the issue and unless we move forward through interaction, through mediation and facilitation by the world community, bilateralism will never work it appears. And, therefore, my request, my appeal to the international community to come forward in the interest of peace in this region; peace between India and Pakistan to mediate and facilitate a solution of this longstanding dispute between our two countries.

Instead of engaging in brinkmanship, Prime Minister Vajpayee should accept my offer of a dialogue for a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute as well as all other issues. I also take this opportunity to call upon the Government of India to take steps to end repression in Kashmir. Towards this end, India can make a beginning by withdrawing the bulk of its forces from Kashmir, ending military operations against the Kashmiris and withdrawing the draconian laws which deny basic rights to the Kashmiri people and give a free hand to the security forces to act with impunity. I know the Indian leadership had said once that if we take one step forward they will take two steps. We have taken steps. We still await steps taken by the Indians. Indian leaders must realise that the only feasible option before our two countries is to settle our differences through peaceful means. In order to be durable, any settlement has to be based on the principles of justice and fair play.

We want to live in peace with all our neighbours including India but our yearning for peace must never be taken to mean that we will agree to compromise on our principles. That will never happen! I would also like to mention here a little detail of my speech on the 12th of January. I have already said this was under no pressure, under no prompting from any quarters-it was in Pakistan’s interest. I would like to underline the main idea behind that speech and the main idea was two-fold. Firstly, we have to establish the writ of the government in Pakistan. We have to ensure law and order in Pakistan and remove this perception of Pakistan that we are a ‘soft state’ where the supremacy of law is not there as brought out by Sardar Qayyum Sahib. I

f we want economic revival in Pakistan, if we want investment to come to Pakistan, if we want industrial activity, economic activity to be generated in Pakistan, we have to improve our internal law-and-order situation. Therefore, the first aim of my speech and all the actions I took was directed actually towards improving the law-and-order and the basic environment in our society. The idea was to remove sectarian hatred, sectarian extremism which is the main cause of the law-and-order within Pakistan. This was the first issue that I addressed. All the actions that I took in banning parties and the rules and regulations in various areas of activities were directed towards bringing tolerance and peace into our internal environment, shunning militancy, shunning extremism from our environment.

Secondly, the idea was that with the establishment of the writ of the government, affairs of the state as they involve external affairs are to be left to the state, to the government. No organisation, no party, has a right to follow its own independent agenda on any external affair. That is what I say when I talk of establishing the writ of the government. External affairs, all affairs outside of Pakistan, can be commented upon by anybody but the final actions and dealings of those issues is the government’s job and nobody else’s. So, therefore, let the government deal with all issues.

 Let the government deal with India and let the government deal with Kashmir, let the government deal with Palestine, Kosovo, Chechnya or anything, and, I would appeal to the people of Pakistan to have trust in my government and in me that I will never let the nation down. And in this regard, I tell these people, who have become the custodians of Islam or who think that they understand Islam better, that it is Almighty Allah who gives honour or authority to anybody.

This is our faith that Allah Almighty gives honour to whosoever He wants and snatches honour from whosoever He wants. If this is our faith then Allah Almighty has brought me to this position. This position, this authority, has been bestowed by Allah and as long as I hold this authority, and whatever work I am doing with hill responsibility, all Pakistanis should have confidence in that because this is our faith. With there words I would like to end whatever I had to say with a wish that may Allah give all of us the courage and the detention to stay steadfast in our goals and objectives.

May Allah also protect all our brothers and our sisters in Indian Occupied Kashmir living under the constant threat of harm under Indian Occupation Forces. With this prayer, and before I close, I would also like to announce a grant of three crore rupees to the displaced persons from the LoC — very recently displaced because of the confrontation on the borders. I would also like to say that two issues of Azad Kashmir that is the TV station that stands approved and its funding will be done in the coming budget and I assure you that there will be a TV station established here with eleven broadcasting stations. The other issue was the supply of gas to Mirpur. This was under process. This is being undertaken and I just checked up and I am sure that by the 15th of May this year this project, costing 320 million rupees will be completed.

That is all that I had to say. I am extremely grateful, Mr. Speaker, for having given me this opportunity to address the Azad Kashmir Assembly. Kashmir Zindabad Pakistan Paindabad

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