Clarity sought on Pakistan’s Kashmir policy: report

11 April 2008
The Dawn
Our Correspondent

New Delhi: India will seek the official position of Pakistan’s new administration on the Kashmir issue at next month’s high-level talks because leaders there have evidently expressed divergent views on it, Press Trust of India said on Friday. The India-Pakistan Composite Dialogue will resume with Foreign Secretary-level talks in Islamabad on May 20 to be followed a day later by talks between External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi. During the talks, PTI said, the Indian side will be eagerly looking for a clear “official” position from the new government of Pakistan on Kashmir as different leaders have been “speaking in different voices” on the subject. Soon after the new government came to power in Pakistan, PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari had apparently said that the two countries should improve ties while putting aside the Kashmir issue to be resolved by the future generations. However, a few days later, Mr Qureshi stated that his top priorities would include seeking a “just” resolution of the Kashmir issue, taking into account the aspirations of the people of the state. “Such divergent views have confused New Delhi, which is not sure which opinion should be taken seriously,” PTI said. It said New Delhi wants the first high-level political contact on May 21 in Islamabad to help speed up the dialogue process that has been stalled since October last due to internal turmoil in Pakistan. “We are ready to pick up threads,” an official source told PTI about the resumption of the dialogue.