AJK president welcomes Iran mediation offer

January 8, 2017

President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir has welcomed Iran’s offer to mediate between India and Pakistan regarding the Kashmir dispute.

Talking to an Iranian news agency, President Masood Khan said Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has shown interest in mediation between Pakistan and India and “we welcome that”.
Zarif, paying a visit to India last month, said that Iran is willing to mediate between Pakistan and India over the issue of Kashmir if both sides ask Iran to do so.
Masood Khan said that people of Pakistan and Kashmir have always been open to mediation as they have also accepted the mediation of the United Nations.
“But it all depends on India’s concurrence and so far, India has said no to any type of mediation or third party role,” he said.
He said Iran is a friend of Pakistan and there are very good relations between the two sides as they want peace and stability in the region.
“Iran has also good relations with India, so I think Iran first should try to convince India to stop violence in Kashmir and then it can start a mediatory role between Islamabad and New Delhi.”
He said Kashmir historically has been doing trade with Iran and “I think Kashmiris are keen to start this process all over again, but first we have to be given our freedom. We also want to connect Pakistani Kashmir with China-Pakistan economic corridor, industrial zones that would be established and we would like to send the products we produce to the Iranian markets.”
(Source: nation.com.pk)

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