Musharraf sees new road to peace
The Pakistan President said the opportunity created by the improved environment should be seized.india Updated: Apr 18, 2006 12:53 IST
President Pervez Musharraf has said, with the "improved environment" between the two countries, settling the Kashmir issue would pave the way for a long-term peaceful relationship between India and Pakistan.
In an interview with the Saudi newspaper Al-Watan, he said Pakistan believes that a fair settlement of the lingering Kashmir dispute would pave the way for "long-term, peaceful relations between Pakistan and India".
"The historic opportunity created by the improved environment should be seized. In order to achieve this, all parties to the dispute -- Pakistan, India and the Kashmiri people -- have to show a spirit of flexibility," he said in response to a question about the outcome of the current peace process.
Musharraf maintained that the aspirations of the Kashmiri people have to be taken into account for a durable resolution of the Kashmir dispute and stressed that all sides should demonstrate flexibility to realise lasting peace and prosperity in South Asia.
About Pakistan-Afghanistan relations, the president said Pakistan valued its close brotherly relations with Afghanistan.
"We have been able to develop a broad-based relationship over the past few years. We have thriving trade and economic cooperation," he said, referring to the signing of 12 new agreements in diverse fields and exchange of visits at the level of top leadership.
Musharraf said Pakistan is playing a leading role in the war against terrorism. The country is pursuing terror operatives and their supporters inside Pakistan and also cooperating in their arrest abroad, he added.
"The campaign is still continuing -- the operations of Pakistani agencies in tribal areas have been successful," he told the paper.