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Pak to continue diplomatic, political support to Kashmiris

July 18, 2012 23:00 IST

Pakistan will continue to give diplomatic, political and moral support to the Kashmiri people until the 'core issue' of Kashmir is resolved even as it pursues cordial relations with India, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said Wednesday.

"We will continue to extend diplomatic, political and moral support to the people of Kashmir till the resolution of the core issue in accordance with United Nations resolutions and the aspirations of the Kashmiri people," Ashraf said while addressing a public meeting at Athmuqam in Neelum Valley of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Pakistan is pursuing a 'policy of cordial relations with India', he said. Ashraf said Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz had appreciated Pakistan's initiatives to improve relations with India during a recent meeting in Jeddah.

Ashraf quoted the Saudi King as saying that the improvement of relations between the two countries was 'a good omen which would be beneficial to the people of both India and Pakistan'.

He said it had been the Pakistan government's policy to continue to improve relations with its immediate neighbours like Afghanistan, Iran, China, India and Sri Lanka.

Referring to the situation in Afghanistan, Ashraf said Pakistan will 'support a reconciliation process which was Afghan-owned and Afghan-led because a stable, prosperous and sovereign Afghanistan offered stability and peace in this part of the region'.

Pakistan will 'immensely benefit in more ways than one' if there is stability in Afghanistan, he added.

The premier also touched on domestic politics during his address, saying the next general election was 'not far off' and the selection of a new Chief Election Commissioner on the

basis of consensus will ensure fair, free, credible and impartial polls. The ruling Pakistan People's Party, he said, respects the mandate of the people and "strictly believes in the sanctity of the political choice of the people".

The PPP was a victim of 'rigged elections and electoral manipulations in the past' and will 'frustrate any design meant to manipulate elections', he added.

Only the people have the right to choose their government and the PPP will not "allow anyone to deny them the exercise of this sovereign right," he said.

Rezaul H Laskar Islamabad
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