Musharraf calls for ending ‘cycle of confrontation’
5 September 2006
Islamabad: President Pervez Musharraf has called for settlement of the Kashmir dispute to end a ‘cycle of confrontation and conflict in the subcontinent’ and ensure sustained peace in South Asia. “Improved ties between India and Pakistan will not be possible until the two sides resolve their differences over Kashmir,” he said while talking to Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan, who called on him here on Tuesday. Gen Musharraf said Pakistan wanted peace with India but the issue of Kashmir could not be allowed to be sidelined. He expressed the hope that the dialogue process with India would move forward. He stressed that the dialogue should be result-oriented, leading to solution of the Kashmir problem acceptable to Islamabad, New Delhi and ‘above all the people of Kashmir’. He said Pakistan was committed to the peace process and it would continue with its endeavours in this direction. He said the proposal of demilitarisation of Kashmir and self-governance for people of the region with a joint management arrangement were a clear manifestation of this. The President congratulated the prime minister on his election and expressed the hope that the new government of AJK would work for socio-economic uplift of the Kashmiris. He assured the prime minister of full support of the government of Pakistan in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the areas of AJK affected by last year’s earthquake. Sardar Attique thanked the president and government of Pakistan for providing timely support after the earthquake. He appreciated the efforts of President Musharraf for highlighting the issue of Kashmir at international and regional forums. He said the people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir were indebted to the president and government of Pakistan for the unflinching support provided to the Kashmir cause.