September 2000 News

Musharraf For International Mediation On Kashmir

6 September 2000
The Hindu
Sridhar Krishnaswami

New York: The Pakistani Chief Executive, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, has said that the Kashmir dispute cannot be resolved in a bilateral fashion and that he would appeal to international leaders for the kind of mediation that ended the Indonesian occupation of East Timor. Rejecting India''s stand to settle the Kashmir problem in a bilateral fashion, Gen. Musharraf, in an interview to The New York Times said, ''When they (India) talk of bilateralism, actually, that means they don''t want to do anything. So that time is over.'' According to him, the U.N. had never recognised Kashmir as a part of India, just as East Timor was never recognised as Indonesian territory. ''Unless there is mediation, strong mediation, justice cannot come about. Mediation is definitely required and East Timor provides an excellent example of how the situation can be solved if the world community shows the will,'' Gen. Musharraf maintained. In the interview, he also talked about issues such as the drive against corruption and his plans to restore democracy at the grassroots level. The military ruler has pointed out that India has faulted Pakistan for other crises such as of fomenting anti- Christian violence, supporting rebels in Punjab, the Northeast and Kashmir. Gen. Musharraf said these charges are without evidence and blamed the international media for often accepting the charges at face value. The General also strongly denied that the Pakistani military was in danger of succumbing to fundamentalism. ''This is a total misperception... There is no question of differences within the Army.''


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