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Kashmir solution before 2007: Musharraf
June 02, 2005 12:41 IST
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf is confident of resolving the Kashmir dispute before 2007.
'If we don't do that, maybe we never will. We have to catch this moment and utilise it,' he told The Financial Times.
'Nobody is permanent. (India's) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is not permanent, I am not permanent. We have reached so many agreements and declarations (in the past) and ended up having another war and conflict. If we brush the main element under the carpet, we will end up in the same way again. Since I have a very good understanding with (Mr) Singh, if we can do it now it's better. I wonder whether the same relationship will continue in future leaderships,' he told FT.
When FT journalists asked him what the term 'soft borders' in Kashmir meant to him, he said: 'Soft borders are not a solution. Many magazines and articles I read from the Indian side, some of them misrepresent soft borders as meaning a solution. I don't see this as a solution at all.'
'This may be a step towards confidence building that could facilitate a solution,' the general added. 'I look at it this way. It's basically a confidence building measure that should facilitate moves forward to a solution.'
On selling the Kashmir peace process to the Islamic hardliners, he told FT: 'Let me assure you that whenever I move on Kashmir, I have many many hours of discussions with all stakeholders, with everyone, and I know they're on board.'
'There may be some differences of opinion but massively they're on board on whatever I'm doing. So I have full confidence that the vast majority of Pakistanis and Kashmiris are on board on whatever I'm doing, I know that,' he told the newspaper.
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