'India, Pak Discussing Kashmir Self-rule'
26 December 2005
The Times of India
Islamabad: Pakistan and India are discussing a proposal to demilitarise Kashmir and introduce self-governance in the region whose ownership is disputed by the two countries, an official said here on Monday. 'The proposal was originally moved by President Pervez Musharraf and later this proposal was widely discussed and hailed by Kashmiri leaders,' foreign office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam told a press briefing. Aslam said Pakistan backed the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions to resolve the Kashmir issue in keeping with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people. The discussion of the proposal on Kashmir could be an interim relief measure for Kashmiris, she said. Referring to the Kashmir issue, she said: 'We are dealing with a complex issue and expectations are high to move quickly but it is unfortunate that this is not happening due to misunderstandings.' The third round of talks under India and Pakistan's composite dialogue process will be held Jan 17-18 in New Delhi, where the foreign secretaries will discuss various issues, including Kashmir and peace and security. Talks between railway authorities of the two countries will also be held in New Delhi Jan 5-6 to improve rail links and reopen the Khokhrapar-Monabao link. Aslam said: 'Preparations on the Pakistani side to open the track are complete and we are ready to operate this service at any time.' Pakistan believed that tension in the region was not in the interest of both India and Pakistan, she said.