'Step back to step ahead on Kashmir'
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'Step back to step ahead on Kashmir'

Ruling out independence as an option for resolving the issue, Musharraf says India and Pak should show flexibility.

india Updated: Jan 25, 2006 17:08 IST

PresidentPervezMusharrafhas completely ruled out independence as an option for resolving the Kashmir issue, saying that this was not possible as both India and Pakistan oppose it.

He said that a "minor step back" was required by India and Pakistan from their "rigid positions" to evolve a solution based on his proposals of self-governance and demilitarisation.

Thereisa crucial need for showing flexibility to resolve the lingering Kashmir issue, and demilitarisation and self-governance proposals offered a good arrangement, Musharraf said while addressing an interactive gathering at the Nobel Institute in Oslo on Tuesday.

"If we keep going rigidly on our stated positions, we will never reach peace. We have to step back, all of us (India, Pakistan and the Kashmiris)," Musharraf said.

Describing his proposals of self-governance and demilitarisation of Kashmir as the kind of solution that requires a "minor step back" for both sides, he said, "We have to come out with something which is acceptable to the people of Kashmir who demand independence.

"We need to see what are the ingredients of self-governance and give them maximum, including demilitarisation and security to the people."

Hesaid that autonomy within the Indian Constitution was not acceptable to either Pakistan or the "Kashmiri people".

First Published: Jan 25, 2006 15:40 IST