Sardar Mohammad Adbul Qayyum Khan, former president and prime minister of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, said that the Kargil was could have turned nuclear if it had not been stopped in time.
He was speaking at the second Heart to Heart talks organized by the National Panther's Party Chief Bhim Singh. The conference, which began with opening address of Sardar Qayyum Khan will end on Sunday.
Geelani under house arrest
He regretted that the money spent by both India and Pakistan on Kashmir could have been spent usefully for the betterment of the lives of the poor people if the two nations had found out way out of the present situation and and lived in harmony.
"I was asked in New York by CNN if we were prepared to go back to 1947 position and have Dr Karan Singh as the Sadar-e-Riyassat. I said we can. But then began the criticism from the vested interests. Kashmir has become such a problem that people go for betting on its future and rake in millions. So why should they be interested in resolution of the problem. I am using the word resolution and not solution because it is a complex problem," Sardar sahib told rediff.com in an exclusive interview after his opening speech.
He said he favoured gradual withdrawal of troops from either side of Kashmir by both India and Pakistan. " In any case there is no need for so many troops on our side," he said.
He admitted that the terrorists were running camps from Pakistani occupied Kashmir but they are no longer there. "Yes, at one point of time there were camps. But General Musharraf took a tough action against them and that is why there were three attacks on him," he claimed.
Will this conference yield anything good? "I hope so. We expect to send our recommendations to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji who started this process of dialogue and even the government of India and government of Pakistan. Last time also we did the same. We got no response from either of the governments. I wish the government of India and the government of Pakistan invite Kashmiris from either side in their dialogue process. If I had been invited by Dr Manmohan Singh in the round table conference I would have certainly attended it," he said.
Dr Farookh Abdullah, former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, asked what is achieved by terrorists who hold guns and kill innocent people on the Indian side of Kashmir. "What have they done? Our hotels have been lying empty. Our houseboats have no tourist to look forward to. What about the ghodewala (horse man) who has taken a loan from the bank to maintain horses. How is he going to pay the installment of the horse and also feed his family. If you think that entire Kashmir is going to live with Pakistan you are mistaken and if you think that India is going to get the whole of Kashmir even that is a mistake.
We have to find a solution by which we can open more routes for the people of two sides to meet their relatives on the other side and the trade should be boosted. I find it amusing that we have to get down on one side of the bridge and walk over to the other side to board the bus. Why cannot we drive in our own vehicles. If they want to check they can search our cars," he said.