May 2003 News

2004: US Deadline For A Kashmir Solution

1 May 2003
The Indian Express

Islamabad: : The US has set a deadline for a permanent solution to the Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India at December 2004, according to General Jay Garner, the US administrator in charge of Iraq's reconstruction. 'We will ensure that a permanent solution of the perennial Kashmir problem is in place by December 2004 at the latest,' he said at a dinner in his honour in Kuwait City days before he reached Baghdad. The Pakistani, who was the only invitee from Pakistan to the dinner, told The News on condition of anonymity that the retired American General told him in an open conversation with him that the US government has decided to 'solve this problem once and for all'. 'South Asia is the world's most volatile region, especially because of the proven weapons of mass destruction it possesses,' Garner told the Pakistani. 'It is even more dangerous than North Korea because of the history,' the Iraq administrator added. Asked if he meant Pakistan's nuclear weapons, Gen Garner replied, 'It is Pakistan's official policy to see South Asia as a nuclear weapons-free zone.' Pressed to dilate further on what type of Kashmir initiative was to be undertaken, Garner refused to elaborate but revealed: 'A Kashmir roadmap will follow in the wake of the West Asia roadmap aimed at resolving the Palestinian issue on a permanent basis.'


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