Britain Could Help On Kashmir: Musharraf
5 December 2004
The Times of India
London: Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf was quoted on Monday as saying he would welcome British help in his country's negotiations with India over the Kashmir issue. 'I would love Britain to play a role,' Musharraf, visiting London for talks with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, told the Times newspaper. Nuclear-armed neighbours Pakistan and India revived a peace process in January to try and settle differences over Kashmir, an issue over which they have fought two wars since Independence from Britain in 1947. Musharraf said the two sides had agreed to strict bilateral negotiations but British help behind the scenes would keep up the pressure. He described Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as 'very sincere and genuine'. But he said: 'When we are talking of such intractable disputes as Kashmir, much more than sincerity is needed. It requires flexibility of mind and courage to go for a solution.' A British official said on Sunday Pakistan's relationship with India was one of the subjects Blair would discuss with Musharraf on Monday. Blair and Musharraf are also expected to discuss the importance of securing a peace deal in the West Asia after the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Blair has made a resolution of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians a foreign policy priority and has linked it to the fight against terrorism. Musharraf adopted a similar stance in his interview with The Times . 'We must address the root causes and get to the source of what produces terrorism,' he said.