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Zardari hopeful of early resolution of Siachen, Sir Creek

world Updated: Sep 13, 2008 21:47 IST
Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari is hopeful that disputes related to Siachen and Sir Creek will be resolved "very soon" with India, creating an atmosphere for the two countries to achieve a breakthrough on the long-standing Kashmir issue.

Insisting that his government will not depend on secret diplomacy to resolve outstanding issues with India, Zardari told The News daily he was hopeful the military stand-off on the Siachen glacier and the Sir Creek boundary dispute would be resolved "very soon".

The settlement of these two issues could create an atmosphere of trust in which the two countries could move forward on the Kashmir dispute, he said.

"All the possible solutions on Kashmir will be discussed first in a parliamentary committee on Kashmir and then the final solution will be approved by parliament," he said.

Zardari, who was sworn in as President this week, said opposition PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, Awami National Party president Asfandyar Wali Khan, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and MQM leader Altaf Hussain would be on board for any breakthrough on the Kashmir issue.

Reports have suggested that India and Pakistan are close to resolving the Siachen and Sir Creek issues.

The two countries have reached some common ground on the Sir Creek boundary issue while the resolution of the Siachen dispute is held up by the issue of authenticating the military positions of the two sides on the glacier, sources said.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had on Wednesday said the government would soon form a parliamentary caucus for forging consensus on the Kashmir issue and the peace process with India.