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November 6, 1999
Musharraf heaps scorn on Lahore Declaration
Pakistan's strongman General Pervez Musharraf has ridiculed the Lahore Declaration, saying that it had ''no meaning'' unless the Kashmir imbroglio was resolved.
In an interview recorded by the Urdu service of the British Broadcasting Corporation last night, the general contemptuously referred to the Lahore process.
General Musharraf said the desired thaw in Indo-Pak relations will come only if India resolves the Kashmir issue. ''I am willing to go ten steps further, if India took the desired steps, but my country should not be taken for granted,'' he said.
Observers said that the general's statement to the BBC sounded like his response to India's repeated demand that Pakistan stop cross-border terrorism to pave the way for resumption of bilateral dialogue.
From the tone of his interview it appeared that he wanted to take a hawkish attitude towards India to endear himself with the anti-India elements in his country. According to a report in the Urdu daily Jang, premier Nawaz Sharief was overthrown for the Lahore Declaration and his efforts to befriend India.
At the same time the chief of the Markaz-i-Dawaul Arshad declared in Muridke (near Lahore) at the end of a three-day conference of the Lashkar-e-Toiba yesterday that Kashmir will be decided in the field. ''If the Lashkar-e-Toiba can attack India's military positions in Srinagar, it can also attack the Indian prime minister's office,'' he said.
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