Musharraf Claims Kashmir Was Near Resolution During His Regime

27 June 2009
The Times of India


Islamabad: Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has claimed that the Kashmir problem was near resolution during his regime and dismissed accusations that the powerful army did not want the settlement of the issue. Musharraf claimed he and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had, during the 2001 Agra summit, even agreed to the draft of a joint declaration under which all issues, including Kashmir, could have been resolved. 'But the Indian leadership changed their mind at the last minute and did not support the joint declaration, saying that the Cabinet had not approved it,' Musharraf said in an interview to a channel. Accusations that the army does not want a resolution to Kashmir issue are 'vicious propaganda' and the need for the army would remain even if the problem is resolved, he said. Musharraf said he held talks with all stakeholders in the Kashmir issue, including the Hurriyat Conference and the leadership of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, for the resolution of the issue 'but no one could guide me in the right direction.' He also said he had convinced the entire leadership in Kashmir, except hardliner Ali Shah Gilani, about his four-point formula which envisaged de-militarisation and joint control of the region.