February 2004 News

Jamali hopes Kashmir dispute will be resolved

29 February 2004
The Daily Times

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali told Indian weekly Frontline in an interview the other day that he hoped that Pakistan- India dialogue would reach a conclusion.Of course, the prime minister said, the core issue of Kashmir would be resolved. 'In this region, Kashmir is a problem. The Kashmiris need a helping hand. We are trying to contribute so that this issue is settled - it is in the interest of humanity,' the prime minister said. About showing flexibility in talks with India, Prime Minister Jamali said, 'In my assessment, both parties should sacrifice their ego for the sake of better relations. We have to sacrifice it for a bigger goal.'Asked about the most significant achievement of the 12th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation summit in the India-Pakistan context, the prime minister replied that firstly, for the past few years, the world thought that there was no law and order in Pakistan and it could not host a significant national or international event. The summit disproved this, he said. Secondly, Mr Vajpayee was able to convince his people and we ours that this issue had to be resolved. That is the biggest outcome. About considering India an enemy after all these developments, the prime minister said, 'I have always said that we are enemies to none - that was my speech to Parliament. And we expect no one to be our enemy.' Asked how his government looked at the Kashmir movement, Prime Minister Jamali said every person had a right to one's freedom. 'We have been giving Kashmiris diplomatic and moral support. Kashmiris are the best people to decide. They are suffering. That is why, in the interest of humanity, this issue must be resolved in a decent and honourable way,' he added.Prime Minister Jamali said we want peace - whether it comes from the Pakistani side or the Indian side. If it is up to the satisfaction of the Kashmiris, it will be a worthwhile effort. 'If something is leading to peace, that is enough.' About apprehensions that the bureaucracy would sabotage the peace process, Prime Minister Jamali said, these were government-to-government and not person-to-person talks. 'It is only a start. This is level-I. Level-II will be at the ministerial level. Level-III will be at the chief executive level, whatever the case may be. I see no reason why people think that the bureaucracy will sabotage the talks. I don't mistrust my team.' 'As far as we are concerned, we are positive. Even India needs peace. Nobody wants war. War is no solution to any problem. It is peace, dialogue and the power to convince, which will bring about a breakthrough,' the prime minister said. -APP


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