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Zardari, Bilawal pay tributes to Kashmiris

05 February, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Former president Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday paid tributes to the brave people of Jammu and Kashmir for their resolve and heroic sacrifices in the cause of justice and for the realisation of their aspirations.

"Each year on February 5 the Kashmir Solidarity Day is observed to reiterate our support to the just and legitimate struggle of our Kashmiri brothers and sisters for the realisation of their right to self determination. This is a fundamental right of the people which is also enshrined in the UN Charter and cannot be wished away by force and brutal suppression. On this occasion the PPP wishes to also pay tributes to the brave people of Jammu and Kashmir for their resolve and heroic sacrifices in the cause of justice and for the realisation of their aspirations," the former president said in his message on Kashmir Day.

"The Pakistan People's Party is committed to respecting the fundamental rights of the people and finding a just, honourable and peaceful solution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the aspirations of its people," he added.

"The Pakistan People's Party would persist in its efforts for seeking a peaceful and honourable resolution of Jammu and Kashmir dispute through dialogue, stepping up confidence building measures, enhancement of trade and increased people to people contacts and in a manner in which the people of Kashmir play a key role in finding a final peaceful settlement of the issue. Kashmiris should be associated with the dialogue process as, in the ultimate analysis, they would be the final arbiters of their destiny. While paying tributes today to the brave people of Jammu and Kashmir the PPP also wishes to reassure them that the party will always stand with them in their just struggle."

In his message on the day, PPP Patron-in-chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said, "Kashmir Solidarity Day on February 5 every year is intended to pay tributes to the people of Jammu and Kashmir for their steadfastness and heroism and to reiterate solidarity with them on the one hand and to focus on the need to resolve the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people on the other."

"This is also an occasion for the PPP to reiterate its vision of moving South Asia on to the path of peace and prosperity with respect and honour and without prejudice to the position on UN resolutions. This path is through confidence building, conflict management and creation of a trading bloc of nations to improve the living conditions of all people of South Asia," Bilawal said.

"The PPP believes that the people of Kashmir are a key to a final settlement of the Kashmir issue. It also believes that appropriate confidence building measures, greater people to people contacts and enhanced trade are needed to create a climate for durable peace in the region. The PPP is in favour of normalisation of relations with India as well as enhancement of SAARC as a trading bloc.

The party under the leadership of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto proposed soft borders as far back as 1999. Earlier on, the PPP introduced the South Asian Preferential Tariff Agreement as well as the concept of groups of people, like parliamentarians and judges, travelling in the SAARC countries without visas."

Bilawal added, "We stand for freedom and the fundamental rights of people. There can be no greater fundamental right than the right to franchise of a people. While paying tributes to the brave people of Jammu and Kashmir, I also wish to reassure them on this occasion that the PPP will always stand with them in their just struggle."


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