NEW DELHI, Mar 23: Pakistan today asserted that the Jammu and Kashmir issue must be resolved as per the “aspirations of Kashmiris”, saying it can be suppressed but not quelled.
Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit in his Pakistan Day speech at the Embassy here also said that Islamabad wants to have a good and peaceful relationship with New Delhi and resolve all issues.
“Our policy is to promote peace, especially in Asia, where we have tried to have better ties with all our neighbours. These ties must be based on equal footing and loyalty and our efforts have been in that direction,” he said.
“As far as the Jammu and Kashmir issue is concerned, it should be resolved as per the aspirations of Kashmiris and hopefully it will be.
“We hope that we will resolve the issue but as per the aspirations of Kashmiris (‘unki umangon ke mutabik ho’),” he said.
Kashmir has remained a long-standing unresolved issue between the countries causing acrimony on both sides.
Basit went to to say that the aspirations of people “can be suppressed but not quelled (‘tarikh gawah hay ki azadi ki tehrik huyin hain unko waqti taur pe dabaya ja sakta lekin...khatam nahin kiya ja sakta’)”.
“And, I hope the struggle of the Kashmiris will, god willing, prove successful (‘jo jaddo jehat Kashmiri kar rahen hayn, wo inshallah kamyab ho’),” he said, but did not elaborate.
When later asked as to what he meant by “aspirations”, Basit just said, “Whatever people of the Valley want, we should go by that.”
Pakistan Day or Pakistan Resolution Day is a national holiday in Pakistan that commemorates the Lahore Resolution passed on March 23, 1940.
Basit spoke in Urdu at the ceremony held at the embassy premises to mark the day, which also coincides with the adoption of the first constitution of that country during its transition as a Dominion to an Islamic Republic in 1956. “Pakistan since its inception has faced a lot of troubles, both internally and externally, but as a nation we are resolved to rise together,” he said.
Before Basit’s speech, messages of President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif were also read out by the deputy high commissioner Syed Haider Shah. Auditor-General of Pakistan Rana Assad Amin was among the guests invited for the occasion.PTI