Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has proposed a “four-point solution” to the Kashmir issue entailing no change of boundaries but making the Line of Control irrelevant together with staggered demilitarisation and autonomy or self-governance with a joint supervision mechanism.
In an interview to be telecast by NDTV on Tuesday, Musharraf said in the event of India agreeing to the four-point solution, Pakistan would give up on the UN resolutions and its long-standing demand for a plebiscite in Kashmir.
However, he let it be known that the solution proposed by him "is not a negotiating step towards getting independence for Kashmir that self-governance or autonomy is not the first step to Kashmir’s independence."
"One is giving up that clearly and I say, yes (I) am giving up. But one is prepared to give up in case India leaves its stated position also," he replied to a pointed question on Islamabad’s stand on plebiscite and the UN resolutions.
An NDTV release quoted him as saying that he was "absolutely" against independence for Kashmir "and so is India".
Reluctant to comment without going through the full text of the interview, informed official sources wondered what exactly Musharraf meant by "joint supervision" and how different it was from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s idea of cooperation on issues touching the Kashmiri people on either side of the LoC.
While launching the Amritsar-Nankana Sahib bus service in March this year, the Indian premier had said, “I envisage a situation where the two parts of Jammu and Kashmir can, with the active encouragement of the governments of India and Pakistan, work out cooperative, consultative mechanisms so as to maximise the gains of cooperation in solving problems of social and economic development of the region.”
Email Vinod Sharma: vinodsharma @hindustantimes.com