Islamabad, May 4 (ANI): Harping upon the country's same old jaded tune of resolving the long pending Kashmir issue in accordance with the United Nation's (UN) resolution, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that any resolution to the issue would not be durable until the Kashmiris are not made a part of it.
Briefing the National Assembly about the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) government's Kashmir policy, Qureshi said Islamabad has always pushed for a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue in the light of the United Nations resolutions of 1948 and 1949, and according to the aspirations of the Kashmiri people, and would continue to do so.
"We are firm to our stance and shall continue extending moral, diplomatic and political support to Kashmiri people for their right to self-determination. It is our principle stand on Kashmir and we shall continue efforts for a durable and peaceful resolution of this issue," The News quoted Qureshi, as saying.
He described the Kashmir issue as the cornerstone of Pakistan's foreign policy, and said: "We cannot be oblivious to it. But, we desire a peaceful resolution through dialogue. That is the only way forward."
Qureshi also claimed that prior to the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, both Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and President Asif Ali Zardari, during a meeting, had agreed to continue the peace talks and seek a amicable resolution of the Kashmir issue.
He said the Pakistan Government is in constant touch with the Kashmiri leadership on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC), as it believes that a durable solution to the issue is not possible without involving the region's leadership.
Qureshi's statement are in clear contrast to former Foreign Minister Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri, who had claimed that India and Pakistan, through back-channel diplomacy, had evolved an 'interim' agreement on the Kashmir issue, and that it was subject to review after 15 years.
Kasuri said that both New Delhi and Islamabad, while working out the agreement, had realised that in view of the long standing dispute over Kashmir, none of the solutions that they evolve would resolve the issue, so the 'interim' agreement was the best possible solution available under circumstances at that time.
"We were aware of the fact that there would be an overwhelming support for this agreement; but we also realised that there would be criticism from some sections in Kashmir, Pakistan and India," asuri had said earlier. (ANI)