MUZAFFARABAD, April 23: The AJK President Sardar Masood Khan has stressed that the Jammu and Kashmir issue must get primacy in any talks with India as without the settlement of this conflict, neither relations can improve with New Delhi nor can peace return to the region.
In an interview with a news web portal here, he asserted that the people of Jammu and Kashmir want peace and believe in resolving the disputes peacefully through dialogue. But this does not mean that they should trade their freedom and right to self-determination for peace and stability in the region.
"The only solution to the Kashmir dispute that may be acceptable to all stakeholders is to allow the Kashmiri people to decide their political future through an independent and fair plebiscite in accordance with the UN resolutions," He added that the UN Security Council resolutions accepted by both India and Pakistan proposed the same solution to the issue, and the people of Jammu and Kashmir themselves have been demanding this right for the last seven decades.
The AJK president said that if India thinks that it would carry forward the talks process while maintaining the status quo, this would not be possible because the people of Jammu and Kashmir are not struggling and offering sacrifices for the status quo.
"India is not ready to reverse its illegal action of 5 August 2019, then how the people of Pakistan as well as Jammu and Kashmir can desire to hold talks with India to maintain any status quo," he added.
Sardar Masood Khan went on to say that India which has a history of hostile relations with its neighbors, had aggressive designs against Pakistan also. India can also not be considered a democratic secular country because it has never come up to the criteria of such a state, he emphasized.
About the incumbent regime in Delhi, the state president said that the Indian government headed by Narendra Modi, under its Hindutva doctrine is dreaming to create Akhand Bharat (united India) in the region, and the Pakistani policymaking institutions must not ignore it.
Touching upon the latest situation of occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the AJK president said that India was unlawfully invoking its laws in the held territory. However, he maintained that this is not the question which law is being rightly or wrongly used by India in occupied Kashmir, but the fact remains that India is not competent to enforce any law in the held state because neither Kashmir state is part of India nor India has any authority to establish or maintain its writ in Kashmir.
He unequivocally stated that India had no right or competence to invoke so-called laws like Armed Forces Special Powers Act, Public Safety Act and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in the occupied territory.