April 2005 News

No U-turn, No Timeframe On Kashmir

26 April 2005
The Nation

Lahore: President Pervez Musharraf has said no U-turn is being taken on the core issue of Kashmir. Speaking in PTV's programme Aap Kay Rubaru on Tuesday, President Musharraf said the Indian leadership looked serious in finding a solution to the Kashmir problem during his recent tour of India. It had been made clear to the Indian leaders that the Line of Control (LoC) would never be accepted as a permanent border. 'It is a very complicated issue, it is not a simple issue and it will take a great effort to move towards its settlement,' he said and added 'there are three parties - Pakistan, India and Kashmiris - involved in this issue.' He said the Kashmiris were the most sufferers in this dispute, adding Indian occupation forces were committing atrocities on them (Kashmiris). 'The Kashmiris are suffering huge loss of life and property in Kashmir.' He further said the life was at standstill, as Pakistan and India were not conducting trade. President Musharraf stated it was quite clear that India was the second party which was suffering politically, diplomatically and financially in the Kashmir dispute. 'India's military is suffering there. India is suffering financially, as it has to bear huge expenses on its 700,000 troops stationed there. The Indian army is suffering casualties there,' he added. He further said India was also suffering internationally due to the atrocities which the India forces were inflicting on the innocent Kashmiris, adding on the one hand, the Indian forces were suppressing the freedom struggle of Kashmiris while on the other India wanted a permanent seat on the UN Security Council and wanted to play a role in the international affairs. 'This irritant harms India's stature at the international level.' The president said Pakistan was suffering the last of all, adding it was bearing financial expenses but not suffering any military casualties. 'We are not facing any specific problem.' He strongly dismissed India's allegation of cross-border terrorism. 'There was an allegation of cross-border terrorism against Pakistan but we say that it is not taking place, rather it is the freedom struggle of the Kashmiris that has been going on there,' he added. 'Sometime back, Pakistan was being accused of indulging in (cross-border terrorism) but now it is not being levelled on us,' he said. He said as Pakistan was not suffering, why should he took a U-turn on Kashmir. He said he was striving to mitigate the sufferings of the Kashmiri people. He further said Pakistan's economy had grown. Responding to a question, he said Kashmir was a complicated issue and no timeframe could be given for its solution. 'Through this programme, I want to convey to the Kashmiris that I am first doing everything to help them and then comes the turn of Pakistanis,' he said and added 'when I think that another man can do better for them, I will allow the one to come forward and take them towards peace as well as resolution of this complex problem.' President Musharraf stated: 'I also want to convey to the Pakistanis that Kashmir is as much complicated problem that it requires more mental application. There is also a need to take the peace process forward wisely and intelligently in an effort to find a solution to the Kashmir dispute,' he added. He further said it was a very difficult task, adding 'I expect support in this difficult task (of resolving the Kashmir issue). 'That's what I expect from all Pakistanis because in full sincerity I want to try to resolve this issue once for all.' To another question, he said there was a unity of thought in the leaders of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) that they were all against India.


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