India Should Show Large Heartedness To Resolve Kashmir Problem:Shujaat
31 March 2005
Associated Press of Pakistan
New Delhi: President Pakistan Muslim League Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain on Thursday said being a big country India has to show large heartedness to finding solution of issues including Kashmir problem between the two countries. Speaking at an interactive session in Observer Research Foundation an Indian Think Tank, PML Chief said restoration of peace and an end to human rights violations in Indian Held Kashmir were of immense importance while taking the peace process forward. 'We have to see how peace can prevail and human rights violations are stopped in Held Kashmir', he expressed adding both countries are nuclear powers and should forget their past bitterness to take the peace process forward for the resolution of all issues including peaceful settlement of Kashmir dispute. Others who attended the interactive session from Pakistan's side included PML Secretary General Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Leader of the House in Senate, Wasim Sajjad, S M Zafar, Nisar Memon, Begum Zeb Gohar Ayub, Nasim Zehra Analyst and Pakistan's High Commissioner to India Aziz Ahmad Khan. From Indian side, the interactive session was participated by M K Rasgotara, former Indian Foreign Secretary, G C Sexena, former governor of Indian occupied Kashmir, M H Ansari and A K Nayyar. Rasgotra earlier welcomed the PML President at the Foundation. Ch Shujaat Hussain further said both countries should look forward and improve their bilateral relations which, he added was in the interest of the people Pakistan and India. Pak India problems cannot be resolved merely sitting across the table, he said stressing on taking even unpopular decisions, away from the conventional track. Both sides are to move on Kashmir problem along with other issues keeping in view the ground realities, he observed. Chaudhry Shujaat was of the view that Pakistan and India should resolve their issues through bilateral means requiring no help of world power for the settlement of their issues. PML Secretary General, Mushahid Hussain pointed out that nuclear factor was important for Pakistan as it gave sense, security and self confidence to the nation. Both countries are nuclear powers and this factor, he observed would help pushing the things ahead between the two sides as war was no longer an option. People are actively involved in Pak India peace process at various levels which would help unleash more strength to the process, Mushahid said. Quoting President Pervez Musharraf on Kashmir dispute, PML Secretary General said any solution acceptable to the people of Kashmir would be acceptable to Pakistan. Muzaffarabad Srinagar bus service is an important confidence building measure and an important ingredient of the peace process between the two countries, he added. Primary threat to Pakistan was on internal front from religious extremism and terrorism and it was confronted with the fallout of Afghan Jihad, he said adding Pakistan extended full cooperation in fight against terrorism. Dismissing the perception about Pakistan's military establishment as an impediment to normalization of Pak India relations, Mushahid Hussain said President General Pervez Musharraf was leading the campaign to find resolution of Kashmir issue showing flexibility, which is unprecedented. Appreciating the extraordinary enthusiasm in the peace process, Senator S M Zafar was of the view that movement for harmony and peace between Pakistan and India has to be made irreversible. About the bold political steps earlier mentioned by PML President, he observed Ch Shujaat took huge initiative by promoting party to party contacts between Pakistan and India. This is giant leap and great quantum of forward movement between the two countries, he observed. He noted that there was a series of steps under the regime of bold political decisions adding, President Musharraf took one bold step by talking of the other options to resolve Kashmir problem. He urged India to take bold steps to find out resolution of Kashmir problem and stop construction work on Baghliar power project to resolve this issue through bilateral arrangements. S M Zafar also underscored the need for working out a timeframe for the resolution of issues through composite dialogue between the two countries. Nasim Zehra described the Confidence Building Measures as genuine attempt for the settlement of the disputes. The dynamics of people to people contacts are very powerful, she observed adding, various developments like gas pipeline and proposal for setting up of banks are expanding the canvass of interaction between the two countries. Reduction in trust deficit is an effective mean to expand the capital for the resolution of problems, she added continuing that the important issues pertaining to human rights situation and political future of the Kashmiri people needed to be addressed. Speaking on the occasion, former Indian Foreign Secretary M K Rasgotra said that the bilateral issues including Kashmir could be resolved through process. There is a wind of change and the problems needed to be looked at by the two countries jointly, he said adding gas pipeline, bus service are bold steps and some other bold measures were in the offing. Notwithstanding differences in various areas, Rasgotra expressed there were some common ground to resolve the issues between the two countries. An Indian think tank, A K Nayyar said both sides should think out of the nuclear subject adding that India was cognizant of the fact that Pakistan was not a small country. Both sides have tried policy of confrontation for over fifty years, he said maintaining, let us try policy of cooperation for the next ten years and will witness that insurmountable problems are resolved. Former Governor, Indian Held Kashmir G C Sexena underscored need of bridging the gap observing that degree of suspicions and mistrust was receding. This would help take the things forward for the resolution of problems, he added. The only way out is process which, he added was not time bound exercise continuing positive developments are taking place between the two countries. Wasim Sajjad pointed out that Indus Water Treaty allowed the use of water for power generation but the water storage was not permitted under this accord. Baghliar power project, he said was primarily meant for the purposes of water storage which is in violation of the provision of Treaty, he added appreciating the reiteration of Indian Prime Minister for its implementation in true letter and spirit. He said President Pervez Musharraf took bold step saying Pakistan could go beyond UN resolutions to resolve the Kashmir problem but, he asked where is India's response? This was bold and huge step taken by Pakistan's president which, he observed should have been followed by the bold steps from Indian side. Nisar Memon said if talking about Kashmir is a problem and talking about future of Kashmir is against the territorial integrity of India then, he asked how can we move ahead to resolve the Kashmir dispute?