Reiterating Pakistan’s support to the Kashmir cause, Prime Minister Raja Parvez Ashraf on Monday told the visiting delegation of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) that the Pakistani nation took “pride in the indigenous struggle waged by the people of Kashmir for their right of self-determination”.

He made these remarks when the seven-member delegation of the APHC called on him, the first in a series of meetings with the Pakistani leadership across party lines. The APHC delegation is on a week-long visit to Pakistan on the invitation of the federal government and began their tour with a trip to ‘Azad Jammu & Kashmir’ (AJK) on Sunday.

Speaking to the delegation, Mr. Ashraf said there was across-the-board consensus in Pakistan on the Kashmir issue. “We praise the political acumen and wisdom of the Hurriyat leadership in its efforts to highlight the case of the people of Kashmir,” he said, adding that Pakistan seeks to resolve the issue on the basis of United Nations resolutions and aspirations of the Kashmiri people.

Though Kashmir is billed as an “emotive” issue for Pakistan, the visit as such has not gained much media attention. In their interactions in Muzaffarabad — the capital of ‘AJK’ — APHC chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq is reported to have called for a helicopter service between the two Kashmirs.

Also, according to reports in a section of the press, the Mirwaiz said elections in Indian Kashmir and participation in the process cannot be interpreted as a reflection of the will of the Kashmiri people.

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