September 2004 News

Kasuri hopeful despite slow progress on Kashmir

7 September 2004
The Dawn

New Delhi: India and Pakistan will eventually resolve their dispute over the Himalayan region through talks, the foreign minister said on Tuesday. Nuclear-armed India and Pakistan concluded two days of talks on Monday with a declaration that they had made modest progress to revive a flagging peace process, but the neighbours showed no sign of resolving differences over Muslim-majority Kashmir. 'It is a difficult issue. India has its own views and Pakistan has its own. But if this dialogue continues ... I am hopeful that there will be a way out of this,' Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri told Indian TV channel Aaj Tak in an interview. 'There is no other way out. What else can we do? We have fought wars and now talks are the only way ... wars should not be fought ... We should solve the issue of Kashmir only through talks.' Indian Foreign Minister Natwar Singh and Kasuri had no significant agreements to announce at the end of their talks. Indian newspapers welcomed this week's talks between India and Pakistan, but said there was no reason to be euphoric as there was no breakthrough on their more than 50-year dispute over the Kashmir region. 'The promise of the current round between the two foreign ministers for a future dialogue programme and negotiations for normalization and peace ... marks a major new phase that deserves to be welcomed, but without unnecessary euphoria,' the Indian Express wrote in an editorial.


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