Pak committed to support Kashmiris' struggle: Gilani

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Islamabad, Jun 23 (UNI) Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said his government is committed to support the struggle of the Kashmiris and is determined to seek a peaceful solution of the issue in keeping with the aspirations of the people of Kashmir.

''We will continue to extend political, diplomatic and moral support to the cause of Kashmir until a just and honourable settlement of the issue is reached as per the wishes of the Kashmiri people,'' Mr Gilani said while talking to members of All Parties Hurriyat Conference delegation headed by chairman Mirwaiz Omar Farooq today.

He said Kashmir remained the core issue between the two countries and Pakistan would never accept any solution unless the people of Kashmir accept it and were fully onboard.

The Prime Minister said Pakistan was convinced that any settlement that does not have the backing of the Kashmiri people would not be durable and sustainable.

He said, ''We look at the struggle by the Kashmiris with great admiration and their untold sacrifices for a just solution of the issue will not go in vain.'' Mr Farooq said Kashmiris were beholden to Pakistan and its people for their consistent support for the cause of Kashmir since 1947.

He said their struggle would not have been recognised internationally without Pakistan's support, adding that Kashmiris' struggle remained strong as no less then over 4.5 million troops were still deployed in Kashmir.

The APHC chairman said elections are to be held in Kashmir next September, adding, ''We do not however recognise elections as a substitute for our right of self-determination,'' he said.

He said the APHC supported the peace process between Pakistan and India and the CBMs being taken by the two countries. He, however, emphasised the need to accelerate this process in order to reach a just solution of the Kashmir issue.

APHC leader Abdul Ghulam Bhatt also thanked Mr Gilani for Pakistan's support for the cause of Kashmir and said the APHC supported a peaceful step by step approach to resolve the issue on a permanent basis.

Mr Bilal Ghani Lone, Chairman, Peoples Conference, was also present.

UNI XC SKB HS1828

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