December 2003 News

President quoted out of context: FO

18 December 2003
The News International

ISLAMABAD: President General Pervez Musharraf's interview on Kashmir was reported and quoted out of context as he did not state that the resolution of the issue should not be in accordance with the UN resolution passed 50 years back, said Foreign Office spokesman Masood Khan.In an interview to a TV channel late Thursday night, the spokesman said that the Kashmir issue could only be resolved, as the president said, by showing flexibility, from both sides, not unilaterally.'Both India and Pakistan should find a midway to resolve the issue for the durable peace in the region but only which is acceptable to Kashmiris,' he said quoting Musharraf. On withdrawal of principal stand on Kashmir, Masood Khan said that neither the issue could be sidelined nor it could be forgotten but Pakistan would persuade it on every front.Meanwhile, Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed that said Pakistan was open to discussing other solutions to the dispute over the Himalayan region other than those laid down in a longstanding UN resolution that calls for a plebiscite.'We are for the implementation of the UN resolution on Kashmir, but if India is serious in solving the issue of Kashmir, other things can also be discussed,' Rashid said. He gave no details.Rashid stressed that Pakistan still supports the UN resolution, central to its stance on Kashmir since it was adopted by the UN Security Council in 1948. 'We have been saying that the issue of Kashmir should be solved for durable peace in the region,' said Rashid adding that was possible in the next two or three years if India was willing to negotiate. 'But, again I will say that it all depends on the seriousness of India. We want such a solution of the Kashmir issue which should be acceptable to all the three parties: Pakistan, India and Kashmiris,' he said.


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