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Self-governance for Kashmir proposed to Indian PM: Pak
K J M Varma in Islamabad | November 21, 2005 21:36 IST
Pakistan Monday claimed to have forwarded a proposal to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for granting "self governance" to Kashmir on both sides of the Line of Control and was awaiting a response.
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz had discussed the proposal with Dr Singh when they met in Dhaka during the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Summit earlier in Novermber, Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam told a media briefing in Islamabad.
She was asked about references by Aziz to "self governance" in his talks with Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed in Islamabad Sunday. Declining to give details of the "self governance" formula, she said it was an important idea that could be discussed further if India reacted positively.
"It was part of many ideas being floated to discuss a solution to the Kashmir issue," she said.
Asked about Dr Singh's reaction to it, she claimed, "Prime Minister Manmohan Singh did take note", but there was no response from India so far.
To another question whether the self-governance idea was part of the "United States of Kashmir" formula being floated by Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, she said, "The government of Pakistan does not have to comment on each and every option discussed."
Aslam said Pakistan believed that an "out of the box thinking" was required to resolve the Kashmir issue. India and Pakistan have their respective stands on Kashmir and "there can be forward movement if both sides show flexibility and till that happens our position is what it was, that is resolving it by implementing United Nations resolutions. Pakistan wants a solution acceptable to all stake holders," she said.
She said statements by President Pervez Musharraf and Aziz about de-militarisation and self-governance are "just an idea at this stage".
About the ongoing peace process, the spokesperson said it was moving forward, but "maybe not at the speed we like".
To a question about the International Donors Conference in which Pakistan received pledges to the tune of $5.8 billion, she said Pakistan was grateful to the international community for the donations.
"We do hope these pledges will convert into a concrete form". About the International Atomic Energy Agency report on Iran, the spokesperson said there was no reference to either Pakistan or nuclear scientist Dr A Q Khan in the report.
Aslam said Aziz would attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, scheduled to take place in Malta from November 25.
Pakistan will be attending the meeting of CHOGM after a gap of six years after its re-admission to the Commonwealth in 2004. Pakistan was suspended from the Commonwealth after Musharraf took over power in a military coup in 1998.
She said Pakistan can now benefit from the projects and programs identified by the Commonwealth Secretariat's programme of work.