September 2003 News

Pervez Rakes Up Kashmir At UN, Offers LoC Truce

24 September 2003
The Asian Age

New York: Raking up Kashmir once again in the United Nations and describing it as the 'most dangerous dispute in the world,' Pakistan President Gen. Pervez Musharraf on Wednesday said a 'sustained' dialogue with India was necessary to resolve the problem. He also said he would 'invite' India to observe a complete ceasefire along the Line of Control in Kashmir. 'I invite India to join Pakistan in a sustained dialogue to resolve the Kashmir dispute. I am convinced that, with goodwill, we can find a just solution which is acceptable to India, to Pakistan and above all, to the Kashmir people,' he told the UN General Assembly. Rejecting the charge that Islamabad was indulging in cross- border terrorism, he accused New Delhi of 'exploiting' anti- terrorism sentiments to 'delegitimise the Kashmiri freedom struggle.' He also alleged that India was violating international law by refusing to implement the Security Council resolutions and 'perpetrating gross and consistent violations of human rights in Kashmir.' 'Pakistan would also be prepared to encourage a general cessation of violence within Kashmir, involving reciprocal obligations and restraints on Indian forces and the Kashmir freedom movement,' he added. If India is 'genuinely' concerned about cross-LoC infiltration, Gen. Musharraf said, it should agree to a 'viable' mechanism to monitor both sides. 'I am glad that India has stepped back from its dangerous and failed experiment in coercive diplomacy last year,' he said. But, he added, despite some improvement in the atmospherics, 'India continues to suppress the legitimate struggle of the Kashmiri people to exercise their right to self-determination,' he said. Accusing India of going in for a 'massive buildup' of conventional and non-conventional weapons, Gen. Musharraf said it would 'destabilise South Asia and erode strategic deterrence.' 'Those powers which desire peace, stability and security in South Asia - and oppose the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction - must review their decision to offer such major strategic weapon systems to India. They must contribute to maintaining arms restraint and a military balance in South Asia.' (PTI)


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