October 2004 News

No More Volte-face On Kashmir, Says Pakistan

11 October 2004
The Times of India

Islamabad: Pakistan on Monday said that there had been no U-turn in its policy on the Kashmir issue but that Islamabad and New Delhi were looking to address the decades-old problem to the satisfaction of all parties. 'There can't be a U-turn on the Kashmir issue,' foreign ministry spokesman Masood Khan told a news conference here. Both Pakistan and India are now finding ways to address the issue to the satisfaction of both sides. Khan said that Pakistan had not changed its position on Kashmir and this would remain a dispute until both countries arrived at a peaceful settlement. 'We haven't,' responded Khan when asked if Islamabad had changed its position on Kashmir by allowing Pakistani journalists to visit Jammu and Kashmir. He warned that allegations by Indian leaders about 'cross-border infiltration can hurt the peace process and, therefore, such statements must be avoided'. Pakistan, he maintained, was 'maintaining restraint and also expects India to do the same'. Khan further said that cross- border terrorism was a 'non-issue' and there had been no preconditions attached to the ongoing dialogue process. To another question about the delay in the opening of consulates in Mumbai and Karachi, he said that logistic reasons were delaying this process. Khan also noted that the two sides were working out dates for talks on the military standoff on the Siachen glacier.


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