LAHORE     -   Pakistan should give the AJK government and Hurriyat leaders a leading role on the Kashmir issue, says Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider.

“Plebiscite is the only solution to Kashmir,” he said while addressing a conference on Kashmir organised by the Punjab University Academic Staff Association, Pakistan Institute of National Affairs and the Muttahida Ulema Council at the Faisal Auditorium on Tuesday.

“How were East Timor and South Sudan separated and why are Kashmiris being denied the right to self-determination? Pakistan should keep us on the frontline and back us. Pakistan has always projected Kashmiris’ demand for plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir and we should devise a new policy to achieve our goal,” he said.

The AJK prime minister said no state supported India on Kashmir. “I am told by a US Congressman that India stripped the occupied Kashmir of its autonomous status when most of the Western parliaments were on vacation so the West could not address the issue,” he said.

“Pakistan should not accept the US mediation offer,” he said. He advised PU students to do some research instead of just getting degrees and also proposed a research area.

PPP leader Qamar Zaman Kaira said many countries were supporting India due to their economic interests. “The Pakistani government must send parliamentary delegations to various countries to present our stance on Kashmir. He said this is universities’ job to provide guidelines on such issues. “I will convince the leaders of all political parties to sit together for Kashmir,” he said.

PTI Punjab President Ejaz Chaudhry said that students of the Punjab University had sacrificed their lives for Kashmir.

Addressing the conference, foreign affairs expert Muhammad Mehdi proposed to defeat Modi through Kashmiris. This is possible if elected representatives of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) are brought forward and given leading role at all national and international platforms.

“Kashmiris are the main stakeholders. Giving them a leading role in Kashmir will take them closer to freedom. Had Prime Minister Imran Khan taken the AJK prime minister with him on his Kashmir Mission to the US, the move would have a global impact,” he said.

He said the AJK Legislative Assembly should have worked out a plan for its independence and this plan should have been followed by Pakistan in letter and spirit. He said it was a “glaring misstep” that so far elected representatives of Kashmir, Jammu, Gilgit Baltistan and Laddakh have not been put together.

PU VC Prof Niaz Ahmed said the university would continue to play its role and provide policy guidelines on national issues. He said the entire nation was waiting for the call of PM Imran Khan to reach the Line of Control. He said the PU would organize a conference on improvement in relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Chairman of Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee of Pakistan Mufti Muneebur Rehman said that due to the sacrifices of Kashmir people, the issue had been highlighted once again. He also offered prayer for freedom of Kashmir.

Mujeebur Rehman Shami said he government should form Kashmir Action Committee consisting of AJK prime minister, GB chief minister and parliamentary leaders of all parties.

PUASA President Prof Dr Mumtaz Anwar Chaudhry presented resolution on Kashmir that strongly condemned Indian atrocities and demanded resolution of Kashmir as per UN resolutions. A large number of faculty members, PU and school students attended the conference.