Kashmir solution key to Indo-Pak ties: Musharraf
25 April 2005
The News International
Rawalpindi: The resolution of the Kashmir problem is the key to Pakistan-India relations, declared President Pervez Musharraf here on Monday. He was addressing the inaugural session of 58th Formation Commanders Conference at the General Headquarters (GHQ). He said the confidence- building measures (CBMs) and the Kashmir resolution would have to move at tandem. 'The era of conflict management is over and conflict resolution has to be done with sincerity,' he said. Musharraf briefed the participants on his visit to India and South Asian countries and dwelt at length on the prevailing environment encompassing international, regional and national issues with particular reference to their impact on Pakistan. Given its important geo-strategic location, the president said, Pakistan was playing its role and contributing positively towards peace and harmony in the region. 'We will continue to deliver on this front in the future as well,' the president pledged. 'With pragmatic policies and careful utilization of our potential, Pakistan can play a significant role and become an important economic hub,' he said. He appreciated the high state of operational preparedness, training efficiency and an all time high vigilance of the army. He also recounted key achievements of the armed forces during the last one year and lauded the hard work and efforts of all ranks. In this context, the president cited the Pakistan Day Parade after a gap of three years, IDEAS-2004, rescue work during the Tsunami in the Asian countries, floods and unprecedented snowfall in Balochistan, the NWFP, the Northern Areas and other parts of the country. He also commended the extensive work done by the army engineers for the rehabilitation of Sukkur Barrage and LBOD. Talking about the internal security, the president specially made a mention of the extraordinary efforts by the army and intelligence agencies as well as other government departments in combating terrorism and the success achieved in this regard in FATA and other parts of the country. Appreciating the steadfastness of security forces and political elements in bringing peace to Sui and Dera Bugti, the president hoped that development work in Balochistan would go on uninterrupted. The development work is for the good of the people of Balochistan and the country at large, he said. The president said that no-one would be allowed to cause damage to the national assets. In the second session, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz also joined the conference and Dr Ishrat Hussain briefed the participants on the present state and future prospects of economy including poverty alleviation and job creation. Commerce Minister Humayun Akhtar briefed the participants on commerce and trade policy and Minister for Industrial Production and Special Initiatives Jahangir Khan Tareen on the industrial and agricultural strategy. Prime Minister Aziz dwelt at length on economy, national security, political stability, good governance and diplomacy. The prime minister and other speakers underscored the importance of continuation of reforms beyond 2007 for the sustained growth of the country. On the second day, the conference would focus on the matters of professional importance. However, the next three days (April 27-29), would be utilised for Selection Board 2005 to promote Lieutenant Colonels to Colonel-Brigadiers. The conference is held each year with the participation of all the general officers to review the annual performance and future needs of the force, its operational preparedness to meet any threat and other professional matters. APP adds: Later in the evening President Musharraf hosted a dinner in the honour of the participants of Formation Commanders conference. Chairman Senate Mohammadmian Soomro, Senior Defence Minster Rao Sikandar Iqbal, Chairman Joint Chiefs of the Staff Committee, Gen Ehsan ul Haq, Services Chiefs, and senior serving military officers attended the dinner.