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Pak says Kashmir resolution must for peace in region

world Updated: Jul 03, 2009 20:24 IST

PTI
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Stepping up its rhetoric on Kashmir, Pakistan on Friday said the peace in the region cannot be discussed without the resolution of the long-standing issue with India.

"Kashmir issue can't be kept out of the bilateral talks," Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told reporters at the Multan airport. "We can't discuss peace without (settlement of) Kashmir issue."

The Pakistan foreign minister said the world has come to accept that 'Kashmir is disputed.'

He also asked India to 'sympathise' with Pakistan's fight against terror as its army is fighting Taliban in the troubled northwest region bordering Afghanistan.

His comments came a day after the Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman claimed that the 'very fragile' situation in Jammu and Kashmir cannot be tackled through administrative and political measures as suggested by Home Minister P Chidambaram.

Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit told a weekly news briefing on Thursday that it was 'high time' India honoured its 'commitments' to the world community and the Kashmiri people by allowing them to exercise their "right to self-determination."

At the same time, Pakistan is committed to provide "moral and diplomatic support" to the Kashmiris in their "struggle for self-determination," Basit said.