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J&K dispute: PM offers to work with Musharraf

May 30, 2005 20:32 IST

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Monday offered to work with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf to find a 'meaningful solution' to the vexed Kashmir dispute, official sources said.

The prime minister, however, maintained that it would be 'unrealistic' to fix any timeframe for resolving the issue.
 
In an hour-long interaction with foreign journalists based in New Delhi, Singh said he looked forward to his visit to Pakistan.

"I remain firm in my conviction that we must move towards finding constructive solutions to all outstanding issues," he said when asked whether Musharraf's recent statement relating to greater autonomy and international supervision for Jammu and Kashmir were realistic.

The prime minister was candid about the roadblocks that could confront the two sides. "I do not minimise the difficulties that lie ahead," he said.

"I do believe that we have moved forward. We have today an atmosphere where we can start discussing basic problems," he said while responding to a range of questions on India's relations with the US, China and neighbouring countries, including Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

Asking Pakistan to honour its commitment to quickly dismantle terrorist camps operating from that country, Singh said: "If we have a major attack like the one on Parliament, that could upset the whole process."

Observing that he is willing to discuss all issues "including what President Musharraf calls the core issue of J&K," Singh ruled out any redrawing of boundaries.

"I will never accept anything that leads to further division of India on religious lines. I have no mandate to negotiate on redrawing our boundaries. Within these limitations, the two of us must work together to create an environment" to take the peace process forward," he said.

Also read:
Hurriyat leaders leave for PoK on June 2
Geelani faction turns down Pak invitation
Column: The Hurriyat's dilemma


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