Right Honourable Mian Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri, Minister for Foreign Affairs
Dear Mian Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri Sahib Aslamo Alaykam
Re: Visas for participants of JKLF Mirpur conference
Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front UK & Europe is holding an International Kashmir Conference in Mirpur Azad Kashmir, and our aim is to support the peace process in Jammu and Kashmir and to formulate a Kashmiri strategy in these talks.
Before announcing the conference I contacted Pakistani High Commission officials and talked about possibility of visas for participants who wish to travel from the other side of LOC. I was assured that there should be no problem as long as I provided details of the conference together with the names of invitees. This I did about four weeks ago.
Now that invitation cards for the conference have been delivered to all important Kashmiri leaders in all regions of the State, and leaders from various political and ethnic backgrounds have shown great interest in this conference, I am told that Pakistani High Commission in Delhi is not helping them with the visas.
I understand that both governments are engaged in a peace process on Kashmir, and have established good friendly relationship; and many delegations from various walks of life have been permitted to visit each others country which has helped to create better understanding. In view of this I can’t understand the logic of creating problems for those Kashmiri leaders who wish to take part in this conference, especially when we also want to support the process which both governments have pursued for some time.
Previously we used to hear that India is creating certain obstacles that Kashmiri leaders cannot travel abroad. If these leaders don’t get visas to take part in the conference, then unfortunately it will be taken as Pakistan’s attempt to create obstacles. And this will be bad for Pakistan’s image and will affect Pakistan’s relationship with the people of Jammu and Kashmir, as it could be seen as Pakistani government’s attempt to oppose Intra Kashmir Dialogue which could help us to work out a strategy on Kashmir dispute.
Sir, right to travel is a basic human right; and under the UNCIP resolutions on Kashmir, which Pakistan supports, we people have right to travel from one part of Kashmir to the other; and in this regard we need your help. I am faxing you a complete list of invitees from there and the letters we have sent to your government.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Dr Shabir Choudhry
Chairman Diplomatic Committee of JKLF
CC to Suleman Bashir, Additional Secretary Asia Pacific