July 2003 News

Pak Will Never Give Up On J&K: Musharraf

12 July 2003
The Times of India

Islamabad: Pakistan would never sideline the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, but was ready to cut the number of its troops if the issue was settled and South Asia declared a nuclear-free zone, President Pervez Musharraf has said, The Nation reported on Sunday. In an interview with a German TV channel, the President said, 'we have already offered and we are still ready to reduce number of our troops if Kashmir issue is addressed.' The interview was aired on Saturday. He further said: 'We want resolution of all disputes. But that does not mean that we will ever sideline the Kashmir dispute. Kashmir has to be resolved... we want resolution of all issues, including Jammu and Kashmir dispute.' Once again averting the idea of disarmament, Musharraf said, 'Pakistan would continue to maintain conventional and non-conventional military balance in the region. We will never compromise on our honour and dignity... we don't want war, but peaceful resolution of all disputes.' Holding India responsible for triggering arms race in the sub-continent, and apparently defending his defence policy, Musharraf said, 'we have to deter war... we have to prevent war through a no-win situation by showing the enemy a no-win situation, not only that but a situation where they may be defeated even in a war or conflict. That is the minimum deterrence I am talking of -and that is the deterrence we have to maintain.' Regarding the strong opposition to constitutional amendments under the garb of Legal Framework Order (LFO), he said, 'these amendments have been introduced in accordance with the assent of the Supreme Court, and are not meant to benefit any one but to provide a system of checks and balances.' Stating that in 1990s there were no checks and balances on power brokers in Pakistan, the President said in that era the country saw a reign of uncertainty, dysfunctional democracy, and politicised corrupt governments.


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