‘Kashmir issue at critical juncture’
29 April 2005
Islamabad: Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has said that the Kashmir issue was now at the most important juncture of history. “Though in terms of a solution it is in initial stages, it has attained a pivotal position for Pakistan and India,” he said while addressing a roundtable conference on the Kashmir issue organized by an Urdu daily here. He said President General Pervez Musharraf had taken the Kashmiri leadership from both sides of the Line of Control into confidence during separate meetings with them. “It is the need of the hour that the issue was resolved through dialogue,” he said, adding that the world powers had been taking keen interest in it. Sheikh Rashid said it was an established fact that both countries are nuclear powers and this issue could never be resolved through use of force. It could be settled only through peaceful means of dialogue. He said it had become imperative that the Kashmiri leadership from both sides of the LoC stood with President Musarraf in their quest for a just resolution of the issue. The minister called upon the Kashmiri intelligentsia to ponder over the issue for seeking such a solution as might not convey the impression that one country or the other was a victor. He said the Kashmiri leadership from across the LoC might visit Pakistan in the days to come. When they did so, they should be given a rousing welcome, he added.