November 2001 News

No cross-border terrorism in Kashmir: Musharraf

8 November 2001
The Times of India

PARIS: Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has accused India of indulging in state terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and denied that Islamabad was fomenting trouble there.''It is a freedom struggle. No terrorist activity anywhere in the world can be carried out for over a decade unless there is widespread popular support for it from within,'' he told a press conference here, echoing the stance he adopted in the failed India-Pakistan summit at Agra in July.''Pakistan has no role in it. And in fact, if anyone is carrying out terrorism in the state, it is the Indian government,'' said Musharraf, before flying to the US.Musharraf described Kashmir, along with Palestine, as one of the hottest spots in the world and said the issue needed to be resolved amicably and in accordance with the wishes of the people of the state.Musharraf also repeated his claim that India was not honouring U.N resolutions on Kashmir and was suppressing those who wanted these implemented.''Who is a terrorist in such a situation where people of a particular place want this resolution to be implemented? Are they the terrorists? Or is the government that is brutally killing them the terrorists?'' Musharraf asked.Asked if he wanted the implementation of the resolutions in totality and whether he was negating the Shimla Agreement the two countries signed in 1972, Musharraf said these were only semantics.''The real issue is of peace and we have to restore peace in this very delicate part of the world which houses a quarter of humanity. The people are very backward economically and we can bring progress here only after peace has been restored,'' the president said.He repeated his offer of peace talks with India.''We want to resolve this dispute as soon as possible. If India takes one step, we will take three. Call it by any name, the U.N. resolutions, the Shimla Agreement or the Agra process, we need to start talking again,'' he said.On his discussions with French President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, Musharraf said they had discussed a range of issues including the situation in Afghanistan as well as bilateral relations.''The two countries have long standing and close bilateral relations which have been nourished by the continuing French empathy and support to our perceptions of the situation in South Asia and we appreciate these,'' Musharraf said.''I have very fruitful and constructive discussions here and there was a meeting of minds and shared views. We have decided to work together on a number of issues of common interest.''On the Afghanistan, Musharraf repeated his demand that the air strikes be stopped during the Muslim holy month of Ramzan and that the campaign be short and well targeted.''There is a perception in the world that the campaign is against the poor people of Afghanistan. This wrong perception needs to be corrected by ensuring that there is least possible collateral damage and that we have very clear military objectives which should be achieved in the shortest possible duration,'' he said.Musharraf is scheduled to stop over in London where he will meet British Prime Minister Tony Blair, before proceeding to the U.S. where he will meet President George W. Bush and address the U.N. General Assembly session in New York.


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