March 2004 News

Kashmir Won't Be Resolved In 2004: Powell

19 March 2004
The Times of India

Islamabad: Pakistan and India's dispute over Kashmir will not dissipate this year, but may linger on for some more time, believes the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell. In an interview, Powell expressed Washington's keen desire to see the current dialogue between Pakistan and India leading to a resolution of the Kashmir dispute. The issue of Kashmir has bedevilled relations between the two South Asian states for over half a century and ultimately it has to be resolved. He said the process of dialogue that had been initiated by President Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on January 6, would lead to the resolution of the Kashmir issue and other outstanding problems. 'If not resolved, the Kashmir issue would continue to be the source of 'tension and disagreement,' Powell observed. He was further quoted by The News as saying that last year's cease-fire declaration by the two countries was a good sign, and stressed that it was in the interest of all that it must continue. Responding to a question, he said leaders of both Pakistan and India have shown a commitment to the dialogue process, and have come out with a plan to resolve the difficult issues. He said people of both Pakistan and India want this process to succeed.


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