Blast won't stop peace process: Musharraf
The Pakistan president says India and Pakistan are heading towards conflict resolution of Kashmir, Siachen and Sir Creek issues.Updated: Feb 19, 2007 13:48 IST
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf said on Monday that the "heinous" overnight attack on an Indian train would not be allowed to stop the two neighbours' peace process.
"Such wanton acts of terrorism will only serve to further strengthen our resolve to attain the mutually desired objective of sustainable peace between the two countries," a government statement quoted Musharraf as saying.
"We will not allow elements which want to sabotage the ongoing peace process succeed in their nefarious designs."
Musharrafsaid that India and Pakistan are heading towards "conflict resolution" of Kashmir, Siachen and Sir Creek issues.
Pakistan is stressing that there should be conflict resolution and the core issue of Kashmir should be settled, he said.
"Pak-India talks are moving ahead in a positive manner and the issues can be resolved if we show flexibility and courage.
If we find a solution which is better for Kashmiris, Pakistanis and Indians that will be beneficial," he said in an interview to a private TV channel.
To a question, Musharraf categorically stated that he has not shown any flexibility on Pakistan's stand on Kashmir.
"I have floated ideas. This is not flexibility. We have not signed any agreement. Our stand is still based on plebiscite and the right of self-determination and we have not changed it.
"If India agrees to move beyond its stated position then Pakistan will also come forward," he said.
On the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline, Musharraf said "Pakistan is short of energy and it needs gas for industrialisation and electricity production. The interest of Pakistan is important and the gas from Iran is cheaper and affordable".
Asked whether there was any pressure from United States to give up the project in view of Washington's conflict with Tehran over Iran's nuclear programme, he said nobody has asked him to stop the plan to buy gas from Iran and agreement is very close on the pricing formula.
On reported US plans to attack Iran, Musharraf said the attack on Iran cannot be ruled out if its confrontation with the US continued.
"The US-Iran conflict will have a huge effect on the Gulf Region and the Middle East, and sectarian tensions can erupt with serious repercussions for the whole Muslim world," he warned.
The US and Iran should realise the need for an amicable resolution of the stand off, he added.
On the international community's pressure on Pakistan to do more on terrorism, he said Pakistan has been doing enough and asked the world community to do more in this war to ensure peace and security in the region and the world.
US, NATO and Afghanistan should do more to curb extremism and terrorism, he said adding Pakistan is already doing a lot and its strategic direction is right against Al-Qaeda and Taliban.
President Musharraf said the fencing of Pak-Afghan border is underway.
He said Pakistan has not received any support, financial or otherwise, from any other country and it is difficult to fence the whole 2500 km-long border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, therefore, only select fencing of 35 km border has been decided.
He, however, said Pakistan will not mine the border. "We will not mine the border due to international concerns", he said adding it is unfortunate that people from Afghanistan are coming to recruit refugees living in the four camps, two in Balochistan and two in the NWFP province."
"Palestinian issue is the core issue affecting Iraq, Iran and Al-Qaeda," he said.
He said a conference of a group of like-minded foreign ministers will be held in Islamabad to pursue future line of action on the issues confronting the Muslim Ummah.
Pakistan believes in the integrity of Iraq as its disintegration will be dangerous, he added.
First Published: Feb 19, 2007 12:28 IST