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Musharraf softens stand on J&K

Pak was ready to 'shift from its stated position' of solving Kashmir on the basis of UN Security Council resolutions.

india Updated: Sep 16, 2005 13:48 IST
Dharam Shourie (PTI)
Dharam Shourie (PTI)

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on Friday said his country was ready to shift from its stated position of solving Kashmir issue on the basis of UN Security Council resolutions if India reciprocated.

Replying to a question about UNSC resolutions on Kashmir, Musharraf told a press conference in New York that "Pakistan is flexible on this to the extent that we are prepared to go beyond them, not unilaterally but bilaterally."

"If we both (India and Pakistan) were a step away from our stated positions, Pakistan is also prepared to leave its stated position on the UN resolution," he said, adding that at present, however, Islamabad's position remains as it was.

"We need to be very intelligent and address both simultaneously and not get bogged down in semantics," he said.

"Any violence against civilians is terrorism. That is how I define terrorism. We need to remove signs of violence in Kashmir. So this has two sides to it. One is violence against people of Kashmir and the other is what is being done by people who are coming across the line of control. We need to address both of them," he told a questioner.

The Pakistan President said his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh earlier in the day showed their "commitment to move forward towards resolution of disputes in a peaceful manner".

"It should not be ignored that both countries are moving forward towards peace. Both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and he are committed to move forward towards resolution of disputes in a peaceful manner. That resolve has been shown also Wednesday night" at the bilateral meeting, he said.

Answering a question, he denied there was a deadlock at his meeting with Singh. "You are talking of such critical issues bedevilling relations between India and Pakistan, on Kashmir issue over which we have fought wars. These cannot be resolved in a day or two when each side has opposite views. "

"But let me say with full conviction there is commitment to move it forward to a resolution through consensus. That's what we have decided to do. So, it is not at all failure. We will move the pace process forward," he added.

Replying to a question, Musharraf said so far Pakistan and India have been focussing on confidence building. "Now we are moving forwards to conflict resolution."

The purpose of his meeting with Singh, Musharraf said, was not to reach any immediate conclusion. It was continuation of the dialogue.

The foreign ministers of two countries are meeting next month in Pakistan and the Indian Prime Minister has accepted his invitation to visit Islamabad, he added but did not give any date.

"Gradually we will develop a consensus on how we need to move this (peace process) forward but I would not like to discuss how we plan to move it forward. However, we are making reasonable progress," he added.

Musharraf denied the Indian side is not showing flexibility. In this context, he referred to Indian Prime Minister's meeting with Hurriyat leaders and allowing them to go to Pakistan to meet him.

"Don't you see this is good progress," he told a correspondent.

First Published: Sep 16, 2005 04:50 IST