Kashmir issue a `festering sore` in South Asia: Pak FM

Pak described the issue as a "festering sore" in South Asia and said that durable peace in the region will remain elusive without a "just solution" that requires practical steps by the international community.

Last Updated: Sep 24, 2010, 22:01 PM IST

New York: Stepping up its rhetoric on
Kashmir, Pakistan On Friday described the issue as a "festering
sore" in South Asia and said that durable peace in the region
will remain elusive without a "just solution" that requires
practical steps by the international community.

"What bewilders me is the lack of realisation that
durable peace in South Asia will remain elusive without a just
solution of Jammu and Kashmir dispute," Pakistan Foreign
Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said at an Asia Society
meeting.

His comments came a day after Pakistan Foreign Office
said there can be no result-oriented discussions with India on
Kashmir unless New Delhi stops treating it as the country`s
integral part and seeking a solution within the ambit of the
Indian Constitution.

Accusing the Indian security forces of killing
"peaceful" Kashmiri youth, children and women, he said
"occupation and persecution cannot kill Kashmiri spirit. They
are demanding their right to self-determination. Their voice
cannot be suppressed."

"It is time the international community should realise
the seriousness of the situation; and take practical steps to
cure this festering sore of South Asia. The United States, as
the world leader, has special responsibility towards
finding a just and peaceful solution of Kashmir," Qureshi
said.

"It would also be critical for our joint efforts to
contain and eradicate terrorism," Qureshi said.

At another meeting -- that of the OIC -- Qureshi
bracketed Kashmir issue with the Palestinian problem, saying
the two remain the oldest unresolved conflicts on the UN
Security Council agenda.

He said Pakistan is committed to finding a just and
peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with
the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and the wishes
and aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, according
to a transcript of his statement made available by the
Pakistani mission at the UN.

He also said that Pakistan views the "prevailing
situation in the Indian Occupied Kashmir with grave concern"
citing the deaths of over 100 Kashmiris in recent months.

"We strongly condemn this brutality. The human rights
of Kashmiri people must be respected and their voices heard to
create an enabling environment for a peaceful solution of the
longstanding Jammu and Kashmir dispute," he said.

Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit
yesterday called on India to "revisit its approach and its
Kashmir policy rather than trying cosmetic measures here and
there because this is not going to bring about any difference
as far as the Jammu and Kashmir dispute is concerned."

"Unless India takes a fresh look at its Kashmir
policy, does some introspection and stops treating Jammu and
Kashmir as its integral part and stops harping on seeking a
solution within the Indian Constitution, we do not believe
that we can really have any meaningful or result-oriented
discussions with India on this (issue)," Basit said.

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, who is also
here to take part in the UN General Assembly session,
meanwhile, insisted that Jammu and Kashmir is an internal
matter of India and asked Pakistan to end its illegal
occupation of some parts of the state before advising New
Delhi.

PTI