Srinagar: Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif has strongly asserted that Kashmir’s pro-freedom leadership has a central role in any talks on Kashmir. During a cabinet meeting held on Monday in Islamabad, Sharif also said that any dialogue between India and Pakistan minus the Kashmir dispute ‘will be futile’. “Kashmiri leaders are not the third party but an important party to this issue. Any decision on their future cannot be made without their opinion and consultation,” Sharif said, according to Pakistani news agencies.
These remarks were made during the cabinet meeting after Pakistan’s NSA, Sartaj Aziz, briefed the cabinet on the deadlock in talks with India after the scheduled NSA-level meeting between the two nations was called off post Islamabad’s refusal to accept India’s conditions of Aziz not meeting Kashmiri pro-freedom leaders or even discussing Kashmir during the proposed NSA talks.
The cabinet meeting also discussed the implementation of the National Action Plan, formulated to deal with terrorism and sectarianism in Pakistan, as well as the ongoing operation against criminal elements in Karachi.
Kashmiri resistance leadership has always criticised the attempts meant to marginalise the Kashmiri voices in Indo-Pak dialogues, saying the people of the state are the key stakeholders of any process aimed at the resolution of the dispute.