India needs to show flexibility: Musharraf
Clearly Dismayed By Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Refusal To Accept His New Kashmir Proposal, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on Thursday called upon India to show flexibility.
"Flexibility and sincerity cannot be one-sided but has to be displayed bilaterally and mutually if we are to move forward. Pakistan is prepared to do so if there is reciprocity from the Indian side," he said while talking to Kashmiri leaders from Pakistan-administered Kashmir at a marathon meeting that lasted till midnight Wednesday.
Musharraf also said Islamabad would continue to pursue a solution acceptable to the Kashmiri people while emphasising that the Line of Control was part of the problem and could never be the solution.
In his first response to Musharraf's proposals on Kashmir at a rally in Srinagar on Wednesday, Manmohan Singh had ruled out any re-drawing of borders and further division of J&K.
The Pakistan President, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and senior military and foreign office officials met again on Thursday to finalise the agenda for Aziz's two-day visit to India next week.
Though the official agenda of the meeting revolves around the Saarc summit, Musharraf wants Aziz to convince his Indian counterpart to give some thought to his Kashmir proposals.
The Pakistani establishment desperately seems to want some Indian concessions on Kashmir to help tone down domestic criticism by Opposition political and religious parties to Musharraf's new Kashmir plan.
Criticism of Musharraf in the press and political circles have increased since he floated the new proposals.
An official press release issued after the meeting said that the Pakistan President and Prime Minister have reiterated that a solution of Kashmir was not possible without taking into account the views and aspirations of the people of Kashmir.
Musharraf said it was imperative to understand that Pakistan had not stepped back from its principled position on the issue.