'Kashmir issue will be resolved without Pak help'
Yasin Malik said Pakistan and India should not hope for lasting peace in the region without a solution to Kashmir issue.
Lahore: Separatist leader Yasin Malik has said his Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front will make efforts to get the Kashmir issue resolved "without the help of Pakistan".
"We will step up our efforts to resolve the Kashmir issue if Pakistan, India and other international stakeholders continue with their irresponsible behaviour towards it," he told reporters after meeting Jamaat-e-Islami chief Munawar Hasan at the party's headquarters in Mansoora on Sunday.
"We feel that the issue is being sidelined despite the fact that the guns have been dropped and people are resorting to peaceful protests to raise the issue... We will make efforts to get it resolved without the help of Pakistan," he contended.
He claimed that India and some Western countries had set a condition that if the Kashmiri people disarmed themselves and started peaceful protests, they would seriously take up their demand.
Malik said status quo would not be acceptable to Kashmiris as it would not help resolve the issue peacefully. Kashmir was not brought into focus since the start of the ongoing dialogue between Pakistan and India, he claimed.
"Now the Kashmiris have the impression that the issue is on the back burner," he said. Pakistan and India should not hope for lasting peace in the region without a solution to the issue, he said.
He warned that if both countries were unable to find a peaceful solution, the Kashmiris would be forced to begin their armed struggle again.
He said successive Pakistani governments had been mentioning the Kashmir issue but the current government was not even talking of the matter. Malik said that after the 9/11 terror attacks, the world community had decided to resolve international issues through peaceful efforts.
The Kashmiris too opted for a peaceful process and the international community should discharge its responsibility by giving due rights to the people under democratic norms, he said.
He said he was personally in favour of a "sovereign Kashmir". However, the Kashmiris should be allowed to decide whether they wanted to join India or Pakistan or have a sovereign state, he said.