Pakistan Leader Praises PM's Roundtable On Kashmir
2 May 2007
The Hindustan Times
New Delhi: A leading Pakistan politician has said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's assurance to curb human rights abuses and harassment of people in Kashmir is a an important positive step for resolution of the issue. Mushaid Hussain, chairman of Pakistan Senate's foreign relations committee and former information minister, said the Prime Minister had -at the recently concluded third roundtable meet on Kashmir - promised to redress complaints regarding such abuses, while a working group has spoken of steps that needed to be taken in this regard. 'The Prime Minister has laid the base for something that is very positive,' Hussain told an audience gathered to remember late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan on the occasion of his first death anniversary. Hussain, who was speaking on 'Bipartisan Politics for Growth', said political leaders in India as well as Pakistan -no matter which party they belonged -were now veering around to both countries engaging in continuous dialogue for resolving their problems. 'Whether it is A B Vajpayee, L K Advani or Manmohan Singh, they are all for peace with Pakistan. Similarly, Gen Pervez Musharraf is from the Army but he also wants peace with India.' Hussain, who served in the Nawaz Sharieff government when A B Vajpayee visited Pakistan, said the former PM's visit to Minar-e- Pakistan was a tremendous step. 'It touched the people of Pakistan because of the perception that the BJP is a hawk when it comes to us.' He recalled that Vajpayee had told him that he wanted to go there even though some back home might not appreciate his visit to a monument that was made in the memory of a convention that took place in Lahore in 1940. On this occasion, Muslim poet Allama Muhammad Iqbal envisioned the creation of a separate Muslim country, which later came to be known as Pakistan. Former Prime Minister I K Gujaral said in his first meeting with Nawaz Sharief who was PM of Pakistan, he had told him as a matter of fact that 'we know we cannot get anything from you nor can you give us anything. But there is no harm in talking.' Gujaral, on his part, told him to never let a third party come in between the two sides as their common history was replete with lessons. While senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu recounted why his party missed Pramod Mahajan's leadership in these times and how the late leader strived for consensus among parties for economic reforms. Former Maharashtra governor P C Alexander also praised Mahajan's qualities and said 'bi-partisan' politics was not possible in India where they were many parties and coalitions were the reality. Shyamal Gosh, former Telecom secretary and Shekhar Tiwari also paid tributes to Mahajan at the function, which was organized by Tarlochan Singh, MP and Sudanshu Mittal.