Pakistan has categorically rejected reports that it has decided to shelve the Kashmir dispute ‘for the time being’ due to internal crises.
Reacting to a report published in a section of the Indian media which claimed that “Pakistan may junk the Kashmir issue temporarily,” Foreign Office spokesperson Abdul Basit called it ‘misleading and far-fetched’.
The Times of India had reported that the Pakistani establishment, in a bid to carry forward its peace plan on Kashmir, had invited leaders of both factions of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) to Islamabad for talks to explain its ‘changed position’ on the long-standing dispute.
Pakistan’s High Commissioner in New Delhi Shahid Malik, accompanied by a few other members of the diplomatic staff, drove to hard-line APHC leader Syed Ali Geelani’s winter address in Delhi on Saturday and handed him an invitation from Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar.
The report said: “Malik has already invited the chairman of the moderate wing of APHC, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, along with Shabir Shah and Nayeem Khan to Pakistan for talks on its change perception on Kashmir.”
However, Pakistan denies the assertion.
“There was no change in Pakistan’s principled position on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute,” added the Foreign Office spokesperson.
“The government and people of Pakistan strongly believe that the Jammu and Kashmir dispute should be resolved in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions and aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”
Pakistan will continue extending its moral, political and diplomatic support to valiant Kashmiris in their legitimate struggle for right to self-determination, Basit added.