Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on Thursday accused India of hypocrisy in insisting that Kashmir is not an international issue, when world powers are already involved in seeking to resolve it.
"They just juggle around with the semantics of words like mediator, facilitator and interlocutor, but the reality... is that Kashmir has already been internationalised," General Musharraf told a gathering of select local journalists in Colombo.
"Whatever English word they use to refer to the role played by world powers -- facilitator or interlocutor -- the fact is that Kashmir is already an international issue and a dangerous flashpoint in the region," he said.
His remarks came when asked about India's rejection of American Secretary of State Colin Powell's observation that Kashmir is on the international agenda.
"What are Colin Powell or [British Foreign Secretary] Jack Straw doing and what are world governments and world powers doing except talking of Kashmir?" the general said.
In an opening statement before taking questions, he said relations between Pakistan and India were at their lowest, and iterated that while Pakistan did not want war and would not initiate one, it would not compromise on its "honour and dignity" for peace. "We hope good sense will prevail and de-escalation [of the deployment of troops on the border by both sides] takes place," he added.
But de-escalation alone would not bring about lasting peace, he said. A permanent solution lies only in a peaceful resolution through dialogue and "in accordance with the wishes" of the people of Kashmir. United Nations resolutions on the issue should be honoured, he said.
The military dictator, whose delegation signed a framework agreement for free trade between Pakistan and Sri Lanka after the media interaction, ruled out immediate resumption of direct flights between the countries as they overfly India.
"We are examining this at the moment, but it is not possible in the immediate future," he said.
The flights were stopped when India had prohibited Pakistani aircraft from using its airspace as one of its measures to get Pakistan to stop cross-border terrorism.
He said Pakistan was only "reciprocating restrictions imposed by India", but made no mention of India having removed the restrictions in June.
On domestic politics, he said "real power" in Pakistan after the October election would rest with the prime minister. The National Security Council, which includes the chiefs of the three wings of the armed forces, would "oversee" the civilian Cabinet, but "act in a consultative capacity and only if national security is compromised, and to check corruption in Pakistan".
While stating that he would not run for the post of prime minister, because he is "not a politician", Musharraf said he was not planning to quit politics. "I may sound unusual, but I think I have a role to play in bringing democracy to Pakistan," he said.
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