July 2004 News

Musharraf's Terror Solution: Be Flexible On Kashmir

9 July 2004
The Times of India

Islamabad: Maintaining that flexibility from 'maximalist' positions and 'boldness' against extremist views can lead to a harmonious solution to the Kashmir problem with India, President Pervez Musharraf has said a settlement will bring 'ultimate' peace in the region and contribute in 'tempering down' militancy and extremism. 'We believe that sincerity towards its final resolution, flexibility from maximalist positions and boldness against extremist views can lead us to its harmonious solution and to ultimate peace in the disturbed South Asia region,' Musharraf, currently visiting Azerbaijan, said in an address to that country's parliament. 'This also will contribute in no small way towards tempering down militancy and extremism. The dual channels of confidence building measures and the dialogue process need to be pursued simultaneously, sincerely and vigorously by both India and Pakistan for the sake of the socio- economic uplift of deprived masses of South Asia,' he was quoted as saying by the official APP news agency. Observing that Kashmir issue has been festering since decades, he said 'We are glad that the reality of its peaceful and amicable solution has been accepted by both Pakistan and India as also the people of Kashmir' and referred to the resumption of the composite dialogue process. Addressing a banquet hosted in his honour by Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev, Musharraf said Pakistan is for moving the dialogue process undertaken with India forward and called for an 'early' and 'just' solution to Kashmir issue. In his address to Azerbaijan parliament, Musharraf also expressed profound gratitude for the support of Azerbaijan for their Kashmiri brethren. 'Your constant and unequivocal support has been a source of strength for Pakistan and the Kashmiri people.' He in turn extended Pakistan's support to Azerbaijan on the issue of Nagorno Karabakh. 'We believe that Azerbaijan's sovereignty and control over all its territories including Nagorno Karabakh must be restored.' Musharraf said the bonds of relations between Pakistan and Azerbaijan are rooted in history. 'I have come to Azerbaijan to translate these bonds into reality.' Aliyev said the two countries have a close relationship and extended support to the 'cause of Kashmiri people.' Musharraf also called for the close relations between Muslim countries. 'When we talk of resolution of political disputes we feel that too many fronts, all involving Muslims, have been opened. It is time to be closing fronts now.' Asserting that Palestinian dispute should be resolved with justice, he said 'Pakistan stands for the acceptance of the reality of Israel within its pre-1967 boundaries as also the creation of a sovereign Palestine, living side-by-side in peace and harmony.' 'If the world has to succeed in striking at the roots of extremism, militancy and terrorism, the Israel-Palestine dispute must be resolved. Failure, or status quo can no more be accepted as an option,' he said. On Iraq, Musharraf said the international approach to that country's future must be guided by the objective of restoring its sovereignty and political independence through ensuring its unity and territorial integrity, upholding the right of the Iraqi people to determine their own future and control their natural resources. 'The political stabilisation process in Iraq should involve and be owned by the Iraqi people and be led by the United Nations,' he said while welcoming the estabishment of interim government in Iraq under the leadership of President Ghazi Al-Yawer and Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. 'We hope this arrangement will facilitate a peaceful transition to a democratic dispensation in accordance with the aspirations of the Iraqi people,' he said.


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