July 2006 News

Pak Military Does Not Want Kashmir Solution: Benazir

9 July 2006
The Indian Express

New Delhi: Former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto has dismissed as 'ridiculous' the perception that only a military regime could solve the Kashmir issue.How ridiculous. I am sorry to say how ridiculous. Why would the military commit suicide by finding a solution to the Kashmir dispute which allows them to live a luxurious life as the emperors of Rome did?' she said in an interview to NDTV when asked about the perception that only a military regime in Pakistan can solve Kashmir problem because they directly benefit from it. 'I don't believe they have any (intention) to do that and I have never heard anything more ridiculous than that,' she told the channel in London, where she lives in exile. Admitting that her government had a 'hard policy' on Kashmir, she claimed no 'foreign' militants were involved in the movement in Jammu and Kashmir during her regime. 'We did support the people of Jammu and Kashmir. We did want a resolution of the Kashmir dispute but there were no foreign elements involved in the Kashmir struggle at that time. The insurgency was not on the level that it subsequently turned into with other elements coming in that were not Kashmiris. There were no bomb blast on Indian Parliament. There were no Bombay blasts,' she said. 'That is all pre-1998, that is all pre-detonation,' she said referring to the nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan in the year. Bhutto also said A Q Khan, the disgraced nuclear scientist, was made a scapegoat to save 'more powerful' leaders. 'We believe Khan was asked to fall on a sword in order to save other more powerful people and in exchange was pardoned and allowed to keep the 400 million dollars,' she said. On Friday, the Pakistan army had claimed that Khan had run a 'private' proliferation network and had not named any 'state functionary' during his interrogation. It also said he had named only two ex-aides of Bhutto in this connection.


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