May 2003 News

Jamali Hopes Vajpayee Will Resolve Kashmir Dispute

16 May 2003
News Network International

Islamabad: Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Jamali has said that he wished his Indian counterpart Atal Bihari Vajpayee and he himself could make history by taking initiatives that would resolve the Kashmir problem. Jamali said, 'If we can do this, we will both always live in history.' In an exclusive interview to BBC Urdu Service here, the prime minister said, 'As I spoke to Mr. Vajpayee on telephone, I felt that he has the will to resolve this long-standing dispute and I am sure we can do it and we will do it.' Mir Zafarullah Jamali said he does not doubt the intentions of his Indian counterpart, at least this time, and he hoped that both prime ministers could find a solution to the Kashmir issue through dialogue. Mr. Jamali admitted that there were 'hawks' in both India and Pakistan and they could create complications in the resolution of the Kashmir issue. But he hoped that they would be bridled: 'We can control them,' he said. Mr. Jamali spurned concerns that the talks with India would end in the traditional bitterness and remain inconclusive. 'I can tell from my own experience in politics that Mr. Vajpayee is serious about the business this time, and let me assure you that there is going to be no break from now on,' he said. In his detailed interview, Pakistan's prime minister also explained how he would find a way out of domestic pressures and take the opposition along to deal with the Kashmir problem. On the back of a consensus reached in a recent meeting with the opposition in Islamabad, the prime minister said that the opposition parties were on his side in this matter. Talking about the opposition's anger over the legal framework order (LFO), and especially over the question of the powers of the president, Mr. Jamali said the best forum to address such issues was the parliament. He said he believed that all political issues could be resolved through negotiations.


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