July 2005 News

Pakistan Will Make Kashmir Demilitarisation Proposal: Khan

3 July 2005

New Delhi: Pakistan will formally submit to India the recent proposal of President Pervez Musharraf for identification of the seven regions of Kashmir and demilitarisation of some of them, according to its High Commissioner Aziz Ahmed Khan. Pakistan has not given up the proposal and this will be submitted at the right time as the ongoing composite dialogue makes progress, Mr Khan told UNI in an interview. 'When India comes up with its proposals at the negotiating table, we will also give our suggestions, including this one' for resolving the outstanding issues between the two countries, the envoy said in the 90-minute interview covering all aspects of bilateral relations and other matters of mutual interest.For the time being, the demilitarisation proposal was for meant for a public debate aimed at creating a right atmosphere for the peace process, Mr Khan said. Under the proposal, Gen Musharraf also outlined a step-by-step approach towards resolving the issue - identify the regions and demilitarise some. He also suggested making some zones independent or placing them under the joint control of India and Pakistan. The Pakistan envoy said resolution of all outstanding issues between the two countries, including Jammu and Kashmir, within a time-frame is possible, going by the current pace of the peace process and the commitment and flexibility shown by the two sides. 'If the peace process continues at a reasonably good pace, then problems can be resolved very quickly,' Mr Khan said. The envoy gave his assessment of the composite dialogue in reply to a question on how realistic was Gen Musharraf's sentiment that the outstanding issues be resolved within his tenure and of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Giving reasons for his optimism, Mr Khan, who is on a second stint of diplomatic assignment in India, said that two years ago no one could have imagined that the two countries would sit across the negotiating table, trying to thrash out thorny issues. In his earlier posting here in the mid-1980s, he was Deputy High Commissioner.


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