Kashmir issue needs fresh look by both India, Pak: Quraishi

Written by: Ani
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Islamabad, Feb.7 (ANI): Foreign Minister Shah Mahmoud Quraishi has said that both Pakistan and India need to have a fresh look at the Kashmir issue, and search for ways to address the longstanding demand of self-determination of its people.

In an interview to Gulf News, Quraishi said Kashmir was one of the core issues bedeviling progress in India-Pakistan relations.

"Now, a stage has come when even the Indian intelligentsia and the Indian media are asking to revisit the Kashmir policy. It is a political problem and needs political solutions. So, I will urge my Indian counterpart (S.M. Krishna) to have a fresh look to address this problem. Other issues to be discussed are Siachen and Sir Creek, in addition to bilateral and economic relations," he said.

Quraishi said he would ask India to include Kashmiris as a third party in the dialogue over Kashmir, as a decision on Kashmir cannot be taken without their consent.

"I am going to suggest that they need to engage with the Kashmiris in addition to Pakistan. The Kashmiris within India are very unhappy with the state of affairs. The economy and tourism in Kashmir are suffering badly due to the trouble. It is important to give them place in the parleys between both the countries as they are the third force. A solution of the Kashmir issue is not possible until Kashmiris are on board," he said.

He added: "There has hardly been any progress on Kashmir and the situation is not satisfactory at all. I do not suggest any solutions at this stage because it will pre-empt the whole thing. Let the discussions begin and let the situation evolve, let all the three players sit together and see what is doable and what is the way forward, and chart out a solution in that direction." (ANI)

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