Ideal time to resolve Kashmir: Musharraf
1 March 2006
The Daily Times
Islamabad: President Musharraf urged President Bush to seize this opportunity to help resolve the Kashmir dispute once and for all. Speaking to BBC ahead of his visit to India and Pakistan which began on Wednesday, he said he was not expecting an imminent breakthrough in a conflict that has poisoned Pakistan’s relations with India for nearly six decades. But, he said, he hoped President Bush would lead a renewed push towards a solution. “All that I expect is his weight, his voice pressurising all three groups - me, Indians and Kashmiris - to resolve the dispute now because now is the ideal time, ideal environment to resolve it,” he said. Reacting to allegations that Pakistan was a Taliban base, Musharraf said: “If President Karzai thinks everything is happening from Pakistan, I totally disagree. He should put his own house in order. More is happening in Afghanistan itself. Less is happening from Pakistan.” Musharraf said the army was taking all possible measures to try to stop militants from crossing Pakistan’s border to carry out attacks in Afghanistan. Afghan officials have blamed Pakistani Islamic groups for a recent wave of suicide attacks there, but President Musharraf said the Afghan leader, Hamid Karzai, should look closer to home for the main causes of violence. The Pakistani leader also dismissed recent street protests against his military rule as absolute nonsense and said that he did not expect any pressure on this issue from George Bush.