Back Channel Diplomacy On To Resolve Kashmir Issue: Musharraf
29 December 2005
The Hindustan Times
Islamabad: President Pervez Musharraf on Thursday claimed that India and Pakistan were currently discussing through back channel diplomacy 'ideas' like self-governance and demilitarisation to resolve the Kashmir issue and they would be brought to the front channel if concrete progress was made. Confidence building measures have been moving ahead and Pakistan for its part has tried to speed up the process of dispute resolution as well, he said in an interaction with media at the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors at Lahore. Musharraf said the Hurriyat leadership in Jammu and Kashmir supports demilitarisation and self-governance proposals mooted by him as ideas to resolve the Kashmir issue. He said Pakistan has presented a number of ideas on Kashmir. These proposals are being discussed through the back channel diplomacy between the two countries and they would be taken to the front channel if the two sides made concrete progress, the state-run APP news agency quoted him as saying. On the situation in the troubled Balochistan province, where Pakistan army is conducting operations against nationalist rebels who are opposed to its plans to build cantonments and are seeking autonomy, Musharraf said the government would continue to follow the people-focused development. He said the paramilitary Frontier Corps is acting in self-defence and wherever required the writ of the government would be established. 'An overwhelming majority of people wants development of the province,' he said.