April 2004 News

Success Of CBMs Depends On Kashmir, Says Musharraf

27 April 2004
The Hindu

Islamabad: The Pakistan President, Pervez Musharraf, has once again said that the success of the Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) between India and Pakistan would largely depend upon progress on the resolution of the Kashmir issue. Addressing the 57th Formation Commanders Conference (FCC) at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi on Monday, Gen. Musharraf said that progress on Kashmir and CBMs should move in 'tandem.' Gen. Musharraf, who had called as 'historic' the joint press statement issued on January 6 after his meeting the previous day with the Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, has in recent weeks repeatedly emphasised the need for the resolution of the Kashmir issue for normalisation of bilateral ties. During an interactive programme on Pakistan Television last month, he had spoken about the talks scheduled between India and Pakistan between June and August and said that if there was no movement on Kashmir in these rounds, Pakistan would not be a party to the peace process. As a section of the press interpreted this as Pakistan setting a deadline for the peace process to move forward, the Pakistan Foreign Office was quick to clarify that Gen. Musharraf had not set any time- frame. The President told the conference that Pakistan was sincere in its efforts and optimistic about the outcome of the dialogue with India. Pakistan wanted peace with honour and dignity and on the basis of sovereign equality. He gave the commanders a briefing on national and international issues and told them that Pakistan would maintain deterrence in conventional and non-conventional fields, as it was 'highly essential for ensuring peace and stability in the region.' An official statement said that he touched upon the prevailing geo-strategic environment with particular reference to their impact on Pakistan, offering both challenges and opportunities. He said that with its important geo-strategic location, Pakistan would continue to play its role and positively contribute towards making the world a better place.


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