‘Collective Political Will Needed To Resolve J&K’

27 November 2008
The Indian Express

New Delhi: Pak foreign minister says solution not difficult if both nations get down to it Pakistan Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi today said the resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir issue has to be found though collective political will of the leaderships of Pakistan and India and in accordance with the wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. He said the resolution of the issue was important for both India and Pakistan. Qureshi was speaking at an international conference on “Cooperative Development, Peace and Security in South Asia”, organised by the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID), here. The Foreign Minister said the matters relating to the massive deployment of troops in Siachen and the Sir Creek issue could be resolved, but both the countries need to move forward to resolve them. “India and Pakistan spend enormous amounts on maintaining their troops in Siachen. Both countries also feel that the resolution of the issue of Sir Creek is not difficult,” he said. The Foreign Minister said his country would also like to see forward movement on the issue of Chenab water flow. The Indus Water Commission held a meeting in New Delhi last month and now the Commission is expected to visit Pakistan, he said, adding that Pakistan welcomes statements that India will honour the Indus Waters Treaty in letter and spirit. Qureshi said Pakistan believes that a sustained engagement between the two nations will not only help in promoting peace, but also bring the fruits of bilateral cooperation and regional collaboration to the whole of South-Asia. He said initiatives like opening of the cross LoC trade last month were a welcome step. “We are fortunate that at this point in time political leadership in both countries wants a peaceful, cooperative relationship. A democratic Pakistan is the best insurance against conflict in our region and your best interlocutor for a meaningful dialogue,” he said. Qureshi quoted late Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto, saying, “Democracy needs support and the best support for democracy comes from other democracies.”