|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Pak may demand third party intervention in Kashmir: Musharraf
June 30, 2006 15:39 IST
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has stepped up rhetoric on Kashmir after a long gap by telling India that he might revert to the demand of third party intervention if his proposals of demilitarisation and self-governance in the region were not considered "positively" to resolve the issue.
Musharraf also said that his tenure offered the best available opportunity to resolve the Kashmir issue.
"If not now, then the Kashmir issue will never be settled. The international community also wants the issue to be sorted out," he told the concluding session of the four-day conference of the country's envoys abroad in Islamabad on Thursday.
The composite dialogue process with India, which completed its third round failed to make any headway in resolving the Kashmir issue, Musharraf said and asked the Indian leadership to respond positively to options of demilitarisation, self governance and joint management floated by him.
The dialogue process and confidence building measures should move in tandem to resolve the contentious issue, he said.
"If anyone of the two fails, the whole dialogue process will fall apart. If we cannot resolve this issue mutually, then Pakistan has some other options too," he was quoted as saying by Online news agency.
While the news agency said Musharraf did not elaborate on "options" at his disposal, Observer newspaper reported he would approach the international community to press for third party mediation.
"President urged Pakistan ambassadors to gear up their diplomatic skills so that a full fledged diplomatic offensive be launched in case composite dialogue process fails to address the core issue of Kashmir," it said.
Pakistan's proposal for demilitarisation of Jammu and Kashmir along with the self-governance concept has been widely hailed by all Kashmiri groups, Musharraf claimed adding, peace could not be achieved without resolving the Kashmir issue and Kashmiris should be included in talks.
He said Pakistan wants a nuclear-free South Asia and is committed to non-proliferation regimes.
He advised the envoys to sell Pakistan's foreign policy with the focal point of Kashmir and dangers of nuclear conflict if the two countries did not move for conflict resolution in the region, the newspaper reported.
A brief report by the state run APP news agency however said Musharraf underscored the importance of deepening Pakistan's relations with major powers, continuing the peace process with India, resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and further strengthening relations with the Muslim world.
According to the official reports the thrust of his speech was a call to Pakistan's envoys to particularly focus on expansion of economic, trade and investment opportunities for the country, leveraging Pakistan's geo-political location for economic linkages with major regions, enhancing interaction with the international media and mobilising the Pakistani community for positive projection of the country.