Masood Khan welcomes Trump’s fresh offer of mediation on Kashmir

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ISLAMABAD: AJK President Sardar Masood Khan has welcomed President Donald Trump’s fresh offer of mediation on Kashmir and assured that the people Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan would cooperate with the US President’s initiative. He regretted that India once again had short-sightedly rejected the offer. The President called on the US to continue to work on India, as an ally, to persuade it to come to the peace table and not seek the solution of the Kashmir dispute through military means.

“This is new political space, a new opportunity for the people of South Asia, including Jammu and Kashmir. I appeal to the political forces and civil society of India to change the Indian government’s myopic ‘No’ into a ‘Yes’ for diplomacy”, he said.

The President made these comments while addressing a Press Conference here at Jammu and Kashmir House. Masood Khan said that the Kashmir issue has three parties to the dispute – Pakistan, India and the people of Jammu and Kashmir, and the United Nations which acted as a facilitator for the resolution of the dispute. Pakistan and the people of Jammu and Kashmir, he said, have always been ready for ‘third party mediation’ by the United Nations Security Council, a statesman of high stature or any other body within the framework of the UN Charter.

Debunking the false narrative propagated by India on the Simla Accord and the Lahore Accord, he said that both these accords do not impose any restrictions or limitations on ‘third party mediation’ or the involvement of the United Nations.

The Simla Agreement’s Article 1 invokes the UN Charter and its Article 2 prescribes the settlement of issues through bilateral negotiations or any other means. Article 2 of Simla Agreement also says that pending the final settlement of any problem, neither side shall alter the situation on the ground, he said. He added that Article 6 of the Simla Agreement talks about the final settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, which stems from the UN Security Council resolutions.

President Masood Khan said that Kashmir is also a disputed territory in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions which clearly recognize Pakistan, India and the people of Jammu and Kashmir as the three parties to the dispute.