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No U-turn on Kashmir: Musharraf

April 27, 2005 19:22 IST

Refuting allegations of any U- turn in Pakistan's policy towards Kashmir during his recent visit to India, President Pervez Musharraf said on Tuesday night it was a complex issue with no timeframe fixed for its resolution.

He sought the support of all Pakistanis and Kashmiris for his initiatives to resolve it.

Speaking at an interactive programme on state-run PTV soon after attending a conference of top Pakistani army commanders, Musharraf said he was working for early resolution of Kashmir issue more to alleviate suffering of Kashmiris than of Pakistanis.

He said, of the three parties involved in Kashmir tangle, Kashmiris suffered the most followed by India and Pakistan, who suffered the least.

"What is the reason for me to take a U-turn? (laughs). My intentions are clear. I want to bring some relief to Kashmiris from their sufferings," Musharraf said.

"The most sufferers in this problem are Kashmiris... They are the ones facing difficulties. Their lives are being lost and property is being destroyed. Their life is at stand still", he said in the programme,  excerpts of which were telecast by PTV.

He said no timeframe could be fixed to solve the Kashmir issue. "I want to say this to Pakistanis that this is such a complex issue that it requires a lot of application of mind and take it forward with great deal of thinking.

"This is a most difficult thing. I expect support in this difficult task. That is what I expect from all Pakistanis, because with full sincerity I want to try to resolve this issue once for all", the Pakistan President said.

"I want to tell all Pakistanis and especially Kashmiris, through this programme, that I want to say that whatever I am doing, it is for your sake. First, I am doing it for your sake and then only for Pakistanis. If I find later that somebody else can do better, then let him do it. Let him support you and take you towards peace", he said in an emotion-choked voice.

"Diplomatically, politically and internationally they are suffering. Their international image is suffering because in their house a freedom struggle is going on," he said. "It is hurting India's ambitions" to become a UN Security Council permanent Member, he added.

Among the three, Pakistan suffered the least, he said. "Pakistan is suffering the least. Yes, there is financial expenditure because of our troops there. But we are not suffering any casualties.

"There is an allegation against us that cross border terrorism is taking place. But we deny this and say a freedom struggle is taking place. Earlier, this allegation was against us but now it is no longer there. So what kind of suffering we are going through?" Musharraf said.

During his talks with Indian Prime Minister, manmohan Singh, both of them realised after their recent talks that they should "seize the moment" and contribute to peace, amity and harmony between the two countries.

And though they did not discuss any specific timeframe to resolve the Kashmir issue during their recent talks in New Delhi but he expected it to be resolved during their tenures. "We did not discuss a timeframe as such. But one does realise, he does and I do, that we both now are at a juncture in history at a time where we can contribute to peace, amity and harmony between India and Pakistan.

"We are lucky, I would say to be the personalities, who at this time and at this point, can play a role," he said. "We should seize the moment. This is the word. We must seize the moment.

Otherwise we would be letting down two nations and the people of Kashmir. Now what is seizing the moment if we both have to be seize the moment, it should be done within our tenure."

Earlier, Musharraf presided over the 58th Formation Commanders Conference to discuss discussed alleged threat perceptions from India.

"The day was devoted to the briefings and discussion on matters of professional importance. The participants were briefed on the threat spectrum including the "Cold Start Doctrine" propagated last year by India, newly raised South Western Command, Rapid Reaction Force, Special Forces Command, Indian Force goals and status of their development plans", it said.

The "Cold Start Doctrine" involves lightning attacks on the enemy territory during war and capturing it well before rival forces could be mobilised to counter the attack.

© Copyright 2005 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.


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