March 2006 News

Kashmir Issue Is Bilateral: Musharraf

9 March 2006
The Nation

New Delhi: After the US publicly rejected its request for facilitation on the Kashmir problem, Pakistan has changed its decades-old stance, with President Pervez Musharraf saying the issue is a bilateral matter and he does not want it to become trilateral or multilateral. 'We (Pakistan and India) are into a bilateral dialogue. We don't want to make it trilateral or multilateral,' he told CNN-IBN in an interview on Thursday. Musharraf was replying to a question with regard to US President Bush's recent remarks that he would not facilitate the Kashmir issue although he would continue to encourage the two countries to resolve it. 'Well, I didn't go into the details of the words but certainly when it is facilitating or encouraging.' Musharraf told the TV channel. 'He (Bush) can only encourage us or facilitate. I see both of them to mean the same thing,' said the Pakistani leader whose country has always been seeking mediation by the US. On the status of the ongoing peace process between India and Pakistan, Musharraf said confidence building measures (CBMs) are doing 'reasonably well' but the 'conflict resolution part' was not doing well. 'CBMs are not enough. We need to go on the dialogue process, that's what I have been saying.... I believe in a two-track effort and that is the conflict resolution part. Conflict resolution part is not doing well at all,' he said.


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