June 2001 News

50-year-old problems canít be solved in a jiffy: Advani

9 June 2001
The Hindustan Times

Shimla: UNION HOME Minister L K Advani today said the problems between India and Pakistan had defied solution for the last 50 years and could not have any "quick fix" solutions. But he was optimistic that the upcoming Indo-Pak summit would yield results. He said there was an indication of change in Islamabad's attitude after the Kargil conflict. This was evident from Pakistani ruler General Pervez Musharraf's reiteration of commitment to the Shimla and Lahore agreements, he said. "Till recently, Gen Musharraf was criticising the Lahore agreement and did not talk about the Shimla accord. But now there is a perceptible change in his stand," Advani said. He was optimistic that the Vajpayee-Musharraf summit next month would yield positive results, he said. Even if the talks made a little progress, it would be a positive step, Advani said. He clarified that his earlier remarks on caution were misquoted. He asserted it was a major initiative in the process of normalisation of relations started through the Lahore declaration. He did not agree with the view that the Kashmir issue had been internationalised. "India has succeeded in internationalising the cross-border terrorism and isolating Pakistan in the world community. Earlier, Kashmir attracted international focus because of some incidents of violence by militants but today it is in focus because of cross-border terrorism," he said. Advani said the government had taken a stand that it would not talk to Pakistan till it made serious efforts to create the right atmosphere. He said the decision to invite Islamabad for talks was taken after some perceptible changes were observed in its attitude. He said the manner in which Gen. Musharraf snubbed the Muslim clergy was also a positive sign.


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