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SPEECHES AND STATEMENTS ON JAMMU & KASHMIR

 
 
 

By Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto

Prime Minister of Pakistan

JAMMU AND KASHMIRSTATEMENTS AND SPEECHES OF

PRIME MINISTER BENAZIR BHUTTO

 

Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in response to message of felicitation by the Indian Prime Minister Narasimha Rao on her assumption of office of Prime Minister of Pakistan, said:

 

"I would like to assure you that my democratic government attaches the highest priority to the establishment of normal, tension-free relations with India. I am sure that progress towards this objective would contribute to strengthening peace and stability in South Asia".

 

"I believe that the Jammu and Kashmir issue is the main obstacle in the way of better relations between our two countries and that its solution must be based on the aspirations and legitimate rights of the Kashmiri people. My government is prepared to engage in serious and purposeful discussions in order to resolve this issue, as well as all other problems between our two countries, through peaceful negotiations".

The Muslim, Islamabad,

The News International, Rawalpindi,

Nawa-i- Waqat, Rawalpindi,

21-10-93.

 

Before departure to attend Commonwealth Heads of Govern­ment Meeting at Limassol (Cyprus), Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto said in Islamabad on 20th October 1993:

 

"Pakistan would raise the issue of Kashmir at the Common­wealth Heads of Government Meeting in Limassol (Cyprus) in the context of Commonwealth value and in the light of emergence of new humanitarian global order. Pakistan would stress that the continued human rights violations of the people of Kashmir contravened the fundamental values of Common­wealth and that the Association should shoulder its responsi­bilities in promoting a world order which respects human rights and fundamental freedom of all without discrimination."

The Muslim, Islamabad, 21-10-93.

 

While addressing at the third executive session of the Common­wealth Heads of Governments meeting on 22 October 93 at Limassol in Cyprus Prime Minister said:

 

"Kashmir has a special importance and symbolism for Pakistan and its people. We believe that such disputes must be settled through peaceful negotiations".

 

"Pakistan was ready to address the core issue of Kashmir in meaningful and purposeful manner believing it could be settled through peaceful negotiations. Pakistan would welcome "direct talks with India to address all issues between their countries including Kashmir"

 

The Indian Premier was the first leader to congratulate her on her election as Prime Minister of Pakistan and offered to hold talks to discuss various issues between the two countries.

 

She regretted that the Indian Prime Minister Narasimha Rao could not come to Limassol to attend the Commonwealth Summit. She was looking forward to meet him here.

 

Regional tension in certain parts of the world was becoming dangerous. In this connection she referred to the issues of Kashmir, Somalia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

 

Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto told the Commonwealth leaders that the PLO-Israel Agreement was "a good example of how to solve intractable world problems". The Agreement signed in Washington on September 13 would set an example to other states involved in conflicts.

 

While talking earlier to newsmen at Limasool, Prime Minister said:

 

"Severe tension in Kashmir can be defused when oppression ends".

 

"Violation of human rights in Kashmir was "A matter of deep concern for Pakistan. Tension is mounting high in Kashmir".

 

She hoped that Pakistan and India are able to move in the right direction of seeking a political settlement of the Kashmir issue.

 

Prime Minister said she attached great importance to the Commonwealth and that this is the reason that she has come to attend the Commonwealth meeting after two days being elected as the Prime Minister.

 

She was hoping that the Indian Prime Minister would also be here so that they could discuss the Kashmir issue. But now may be only the talks can be held at the Foreign Secretary level.

 

During her meeting with the British Premier, at Limassol, the two leaders are understood to have reviewed the present situation in Indian-Held Kashmir besides matters of bilateral, regional and global interest. With Begum Khalida Zia, the Kashmir issue was also discussed.

The Muslim, Islamabad,

 The Pakistan Times, Islamabad,

The Frontier Post, Peshawar,

Nawa-i- Waqt, Rawalpindi,

 Jang, Rawalpindi,

23-10-93.

 

Prime Minister while at Jeddah on 23 October, 93 on her way to Pakistan from Commonwealth meeting at Limassol, condemned the killing of Kashmir is by the Indian security forces and called for an immediate end to the siege of Hazratbal shrine in Srinagar. She said, "Such harazen disregard for human lives can only aggravate tension in Occupied Kashmir. This will only vitiate further the strained relations is clearly inconsistent with the latest offer of Indian Prime Minister Narasimha Rao for talks on normalization of Indo-Pakistan relations.

The Nation, Lahore, 24-10-93.

 

On arrival on 24 October after attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit in Cyprus said:

 

"The Commonwealth Summit provided her an opportunity to raise the Kashmir dispute for inviting the world's attention towards the human rights violations in Occupied Kashmir. During her visits she was able to meet British Prime Minister John Major, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad and others. These meetings with world leaders enabled her to present Pakistan's viewpoint and to discuss with them prevalent situation in Held Kashmir and Bosnia.

The Nation, Lahore, 25-10-1993.

 

After obtaining the vote of confidence on 27 October 93, Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, expressed her government's resolve to consult all political parties for a unified stand and building a national consensus on Kashmir. She demanded of India to lift the siege of Hazratbal shrine and enter into dialogue with Pakistan for the solution of the Kashmir problem in accordance with UN resolutions.

 

Prime Minister appealed to the United Nations and international community to take notice of the grave situation in the Occupied Kashmir before it deteriorates further and take steps for the solution of the problem at the earliest.

 

She laid stress on the need of recognizing the right of self- determination in accordance with the UN resolutions. She said the government has summoned the special joint session of the Parliament to discuss the situation in Kashmir and adopt a joint resolution on the issue. She said the session would provide an opportunity to the members to express their point of view on this important issue. She reminded India not to forget that the siege of the Dargah Hazratbal was not an ordinary matter.

 

She said the shrine was the center of devotion not only for the Kashmiri Muslims but also for the entire Muslim world as it contains a hair of the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him).

 

She said no Muslim could ignore the desecration of the holy relics. Ms. Bhutto said that during siege of the Shrine, the Indian army has committed atrocities against innocent Kashmiris which is a shame for the humanity.

The Muslim, Islamabad, 28-10-93.

 

Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto wrote to UN Secretary General Boutros Ghali on 6 November 93. She drew his attention to the serious situation in the Valley.

The Muslim, Islamabad,

7-11-93.

 

During her meeting with US Assistant Secretary of States Mr. Robin Raphel on 7 November 93, Ms Benazir Bhutto, discussed the situation in Kashmir. There was agreement on the importance of lessening tensions. The Prime Minister reiterated Pakistan's position of the urgent need to find a negotiated, peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN resolutions and in the spirit of the Simla Agreement.

The Pakistan Times, Islamabad,

7-11-93.

 

Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has urged world leaders to use their influence to persuade India to end its repression in Occupied Kashmir and engage in a substantive dialogue with Pakistan to resolve the dispute in accordance with United Nations resolutions.

 

In special messages addressed to the leaders of a number of friendly countries, the Prime Minister expressed her confidence that the world leaders in view of their governments' friendly relations with both Pakistan and India would take concrete steps to ensure a reduction of tensions in the region and a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute.

 

Drawing their attention towards the repressive measures the Indian government has recently taken in Occupied Kashmir, the Prime Minister expressed her deep concern at the heightening tension between Pakistan and India.

 

The Prime Minister said the siege of the Holy Hazratbal Shrine continues unabated, causing untold misery and suffering to the Kashmiris. She said nearly half a million Indian military and para­military forces have been deployed in Indian-held Kashmir, represent­ing an unprecedented ratio of one soldier to every three Kashmiri adults to brutally suppress the Kashmiri struggle for self-determination.

 

The Prime Minister said the siege of the Hazratbal Shrine has aroused deep sensitivities all over Kashmir and in the region. Every step the Indian government takes to suppress the indomitable will of the Kashmiri people, she added, leads to an inevitable escalation of tension.

 

Benazir Bhutto further said that in the recent exchange of letters between Prime Minister Narasimha Rao and herself, she had underlined Pakistan's desire to resume bilateral talks, indicating that for talks to be purposeful, the entire status of Jammu and Kashmir must be addressed as a separate agenda item.

 

Among the world leaders to whom the Prime Minister's message has been sent are the heads of government of Bangladesh, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, Russian Federa­tion, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Turkey, United Kingdom, the United States of America and the UN Secretary General.

The News, Islamabad, 11-11-93.

 

In an interview to an English daily 'The Hindu', the Prime Minister, Ms. Benazir Bhutto said that she was originally pleased to receive Mr. Rao's message offering talks on Kashmir, she learnt subsequently that India had promised earlier also to talk on Kashmir, but when the talks took place, India had refused to discuss the future status of Jammu and Kashmir.

 

Ms. Bhutto told the interviewer Ms. Malini Parthasarthy that Pakistan was seeking a clarification as to whether the India was prepared to talk about the future of Jammu and Kashmir as a separate item on the agenda.

 

She indicated during the interview that Islamabad would have more confidence in bilateral negotiations if India takes steps to implement the 1989 Agreement on Siachen.

 

Talking about the preconditions for bilateral talks, Ms. Bhutto said lifting of the siege of the Hazratbal shrine and withdrawal of security forces from the area were essential so that the people of Pakistan should not wonder about the killings going on in the Valley.

 

Referring to the Simla Accord, Ms. Bhutto said while it had been "a valuable instrument" in preventing war between India and Pakistan, it had failed to prevent repression in Held Kashmir, but, Simla Accord could not preclude Pakistan raising the Kashmir issue at the interna­tional fora.

 

Answering a question, the Prime Minister said if the Indian Prime Minister was able to put Jammu and Kashmir as a separate item on the agenda, in order to decide the future of disputed territory and managed to have a ceasefire in Valley, withdrawal of troops from there, perhaps, he could set the ball rolling.

 

Discussing the linkage of the Kashmir dispute to the nuclear question, Prime Minister Ms. Bhutto said: "If we don't link the two issues, we are totally defenceless." She noted that India's military capability was more formidable, given the range of the missiles like Prithvi and Agni and the fact that an agreement with China made it possible to delink troops from the Chinese border and that the Indian army was much bigger than Pakistan.

 

Ms. Bhutto rejected the idea of a similar agreement between India and Pakistan on Jammu and Kashmir referring to Indo-China troops reduction, saying that it would bypass solving the dispute.

The Nation, Lahore,

Jang, Rawalpindi,

Dawn, Karachi,

The Muslim Islamabad,

13-11-93.

 

On 28 November 93, Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto has con­demned the genocide in Occupied Kashmir during the last couple of days and expressed her government's great concern over it. She said:

 

"I have been deeply shocked and dismayed by the brutal acts of repression that have been perpetrated against the people of Jammu and Kashmir over the last two days.

 

"Though the foreign minister has been asked to issue a statement too, I, however, feel this is not enough, and I must convey my personal sense of shock and condemn such wanton acts which are an affront to human dignity and sanctity of life.”

 

"We deplore these repressive measures and call upon the Indian Government to take immediate steps to remove the so- called 'security cordon' around Hazratbal Mosque, stop the use of force against Kashmiris holding peaceful demonstrations against the denial of their human rights, release Kashmiri leaders and bring an end to the atrocities perpetrated by the Indian forces against the people of Jammu and Kashmir,

 

"The brutal force employed to disburse peaceful processions in Srinagar and other towns of Indian Held Kashmir on Friday followed by the so-called "cordon and search operation" in Spore, which killed a large number of Kashmiris and burnt scores of houses will not credit India.

 

"The escalating violations of human rights regretfully are an indication that the Government of India has no regard for the spirit of the agreement reached for foreign secretary level talks and the understanding that there would be a tangible reduction in human rights violations to create the right atmosphere.

 

"Pakistan hoped that the partial end of the month-long Hazratbal Mosque's siege would be followed by withdrawal of the military and para-military forces. "We were also waiting for a visible signal for ending the systematic repression throughout Occupied Jammu and Kashmir."

 

But reports on the incidents on November 26 and 27 indicate the resolve of the Indian authorities to continue to brutally repress Kashmiris and to deny them their fundamental rights, particularly their right to worship." The Prime Minister has drawn the attention of the world community to the grave human rights situation in Indian Held Kashmir and urged them to call upon India to desist from its campaign of repression in the Valley.

 

"We hope all those countries which favored a dialogue between Pakistan and India for peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute, will .use their influence with India to create the necessary conditions for meaningful talks. They may also urge India to allow unhindered access to humanitarian relief and human rights organizations, as well as the electronic media, to monitor and report on the deteriorating situation in Indian Held Jammu and Kashmir."

 

She has assured the people of Jammu and Kashmir of Pakistan's determination to wholeheartedly support their legitimate and inalien­able right to self-determination and to make all possible efforts to ensure respect for their human rights.

The Nation, Lahore,

The Muslim, Islamabad.

29-11-93.

 

On 1 December 1993, Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto urged the international community to influence India to stop atrocities in Held Kashmir in order to make the upcoming Pak-India talks fruitful:

 

While addressing a Tribal Jirga from Orakzai Agency, Benazir Bhutto said "We have made it known to the world that the talks (between India and Pakistan) will be of no use unless India ends atrocities on innocent Kashmiris."

 

Bhutto said "all the justice loving countries are siding with Pakistan on Kashmir," About the struggle of the Kashmiri people she emphasized, "They cannot be suppressed as they are not afraid of death." Prime Minister said Pakistan was no more isolated in the world and the negotiations have started with the countries with which it did not have good relations.

The News International, Islamabad,

 The Nation, Lahore,

Pakistan Times, Islamabad,

2-12-93.

 

Prime Minister, Ms. Benazir Bhutto on 7 December 93, said that in her forthcoming visits to Iran and Turkey, the Kashmir situation and massive human rights violations in the Valley will figure in the bilateral talks:

 

Benazir Bhutto raised the Kashmir issue and informed the Iranian leaders about the atrocities being committed on innocent civilians by the Indian forces. She also thanked Iran for its support to Pakistan on Kashmir issue and hoped that this support would continue. Iran is extending moral and political support to the Kashmiris in their struggle for the right to self-determination.

 

The Iranian President reaffirmed Iran's support for the right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir. He stressed that the solution of Kashmir dispute should be achieved in accordance with the UN resolutions. He said there had been no change in the Iranian stand on kashmir issue.

 

She informed the Iranian President that the human rights violations in the Occupied Kashmir have not ceased and in such circum­stances, Pakistan will continue to mobilise world public opinion against India and in favour of the kashmir struggle.

The Muslim, Islamabad,

The Pakistan Times, Islamabad,

10-12-93.

 

While at the shrine of Imam Raza at Mashad in Iran, Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto said:—

"Kashmir is a burning issue which deserved utmost attention, where repression and atrocities of the worst sort were being committed by India.

 

"Those atrocities are of enormous magnitude, which must awaken the Muslims," she said.

 

Pakistan wants resolution of the Kashmir dispute through grant of right to self-determination. We will continue our endeavour to secure the right to plebiscite for the Kashmiri people, who have continued a valiant struggle for their birth right. Pakistan has a special concern for Kashmir, but it has always supported the freedom movements all around the world.

The Muslim, Islamabad,

10-12-93.

 

During her visit to Turkey, Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto have her Turkish counterpart a full briefing on Kashmir including the past history and current wave of Indian repression in the Valley. This had been documented by world organizations like Amnesty International. Both the Prime Ministers emphasized the need for a solution on the basis of the UN resolutions.

 

Ms. Bhutto stressed the need for completely lifting the Indian siege of Hazratbal shrine.

The News, Islamabad,

Nawa-e- Waqt, Rawalpindi,

10-12-93.

 

Turkey extended full support to the right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir.

Pakistan Times, Islamabad,

13-12-93.

 

After the official part of visit to Turkey Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto told in news conference:

 

"We believe the question of Jammu and Kashmir should be solved according to UN resolutions. There can only be peace if nations conduct themselves according to recognized principles of international law.

 

"International law must be the denominator for the solution of Jammu and Kashmir. Repression is no solution. And this is what is happening now. The repression, torture, the destruction have all been documented by international agencies,”

 

"We ask India to put an end to these killings, to end the human rights violations."

 

Pakistan was opposed to the proposal for making India as permanent member of the UN Security Council as it continued to violate the Security Council resolutions on Kashmir.

 

Pakistan was seeking peaceful resolution of its outstanding disputes with India including the Kashmir issue. In this spirit it has agreed to resume Foreign Secretary level talks with India next month which will discuss Kashmir issue also as a separate agenda item.

 

Pakistan has not abdicated its right to raise the Kashmir issue at international forums and restrict it to bilateral talks only. "We want to build a new world of peace and respect for international law in conjunction with other nations and expect India to honor international commitments.

The Nation, Lahore, 12-12-93.

 

Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto reiterated her government's resolve to continue political, moral and diplomatic support to Kashmiri freedom-fighters in their struggle for achieving the right to self- determination.

 

Prime Minister informed the Cabinet that her Government had stepped up its efforts for mobilizing international support on Kashmir issue. She said Kashmir issue should be resolved according to the wishes of the people of Kashmir and in accordance with the UN resolutions.

Dawn, Karachi, 21-12-93.

 

Prime Minister announced Kashmir Committee of the National Assembly on 22 December 1993:

 

The Committee, according to the modalities being framed for its activities, will be responsible for monitor situation in the Occupied Kashmir and would actively work to mobilize national and internat­ional opinion in favour of the kashmiris' struggle.

The Muslim, Islamabad, 23-12-93.

 

During her visit to North Korea, Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto briefed the Korean President about Kashmir and Indian policy of repression and terror in the Occupied Kashmir. She also gave the background of the Foreign Secretary level talks between India and Pakistan. She stressed that India must come out with a clear signal to de- escalate terrorism in the Occupied Kashmir, must lift Hazratbal siege, reduce the number of Armed Forces in Occupied Kashmir and release all the political prisoners there. She expressed the hope that India would shun intransigence and respond to reason.

 

President Kim Sung declared that Democratic People's Republic of Korea supports the inalienable right of self-determination for the people of Kashmir in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions.

The News, Islamabad, 31-12-93.

 

Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto welcomed the Indian foreign secretary and was glad that the talks resumed after a gap of 15 months.

 

She re-affirmed Pakistan's position on Kashmir and asked the Indian foreign secretary to take visible steps regarding human rights situation in the occupied Kashmir.

 

She further said the secretary level talks were being held at an important juncture of Indo-Pak relations and needed to demonstrate positive results.

The Frontier Post, Peshawar, 3-1-94;.

 

Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto said she will present Kashmir case before Human Rights Commission of the United Nations in Geneva on February one.

 

Addressing the nation over radio and television networks on Jan. 24 the Prime Minister said Pakistan wants to awaken international conscience on Kashmir issue by making this new move. "We will pinpoint human rights violations before the Human Rights Commis­sion."

 

She said Pakistan will continue its efforts to mobilize world opinion. "We know that sometimes the international public opinion follows double standards. On Bosnia the international community has not been able to take up any effective step. Even on Kashmir, the world does not have a good record. But we have to continue our political, diplomatic and moral efforts in a changing world. We believe that, at last, these efforts will succeed and the Kashmiris will definitely achieve their right of self-determination, Inshallah," she said.

The Nation, Islamabad,

 The News, Rawalpindi,

The Muslim, Islamabad.

24-1-94.

 

 

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