Seize the historic chance: Musharraf tells India

"The three years of Indo-Pak peace process have led to confidence building and improved bilateral relations."

india Updated: Sep 16, 2006 13:26 IST

Hours ahead of his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Havana, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has said a "historic opportunity" existed for the two sides to "close the chapter of tensions" and asserted that Islamabad was determined to pursue the peace process to settle all outstanding issues, including Kashmir.

"A historic opportunity exists that must be seized by the leadership of the two countries to bring to a close the chapter of tensions and conflict in our region," Musharraf said in his address to the summit of the 118-nation Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)on Fridaynight.

"It is of paramount importance that we devote all energies to address the major challenges of our region by ensuring poverty alleviation, universal education, better health and higher standards of living for our people," he said.

Musharraf, who is to meet Singh lateron Saturdayon the margins of the NAM summit, said the three years of peace process between India and Pakistan have led to confidence building and improved environment in bilateral relations.

"Pakistan is making sincere efforts to promote peace and cooperation in South Asia. Three years of peace process with India have led to confidence building and improved environment. We are determined to pursue the peace process to resolve all outstanding issues with India, including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute."

Musharraf also called upon NAM member states to focus on just and equitable solutions to the international conflicts and disputes by establishing a mechanism for this purpose.

First Published: Sep 16, 2006 11:29 IST