|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Kashmir solution possible if India changes stand: Pak
October 13, 2007 00:30 IST
India and Pakistan can find a solution to the Kashmir issue if they move back from their stated positions on the matter and it is for New Delhi to make the first move in this regard, President Pervez Musharraf [Images] said on Friday.
"If India and Pakistan move back from their stated positions, then we will find a solution. The four-point solution that I have proposed, if they come on the same path, then we can find a solution," Musharraf said.
The beleaguered military ruler, who is awaiting a Supreme Court decision on challenges to his candidature in the October 6 presidential poll that he swept, was referring to his proposals for a phased demilitarisation of Kashmir, self-governance for Kashmiris and joint supervision mechanism for the region.
"If India is willing to give up its stated position, we will be willing to do the same. But we have not given up our position or made any concessions," he told CNBC channel in an interview, indicating that the onus for moving back from stated positions was on India.
Musharraf said Kashmir remained a "core issue" affecting relations between the two countries.
However, people in both countries wanted peace and the governments should move forward to resolve outstanding issues, he remarked.
"I think we have reached a stage where the people of both countries want us to go towards reconciliation and peace and give up confrontation. I too think the time has come for this and we are moving ahead. There have been quite a few obstacles," he said.
"We are in the 21st century. We have had a lot of confrontation. India and Pakistan have fought wars, but nothing was achieved through these wars. Neither side was successful," Musharraf said.
"Yes, our country was divided in 1971 and that hurt us. It was not so much about warfare, but that the people (of East Pakistan) rose up against us and wanted to have a separate country. However, nothing was settled through the wars.
How long can we continue with this confrontationist approach? The world is moving ahead economically. We have to improve conditions for the people. South-east Asia, East Asia and China are marching ahead rapidly, but we in South Asia are lagging behind. Why? Because of the confrontation between India and Pakistan," he said.
Musharraf, who played a key role in the Pakistani campaign to occupy strategic heights in the Kargil region of Jammu and Kashmir [Images] in 1999, said he had no problems with being considered as India's "enemy no 1."
"If someone considers me enemy no, 1, I take it very positively. The enemy should not consider me enemy no. 15, if the enemy says I'm enemy no. 1, I'm very happy."
Pakistan had not made any concessions on the Kashmir issue and had spoken from a position of strength on the issue with India, Musharraf said.
"We still say there should be a plebiscite. The UN resolution for this is still valid," he said.
"They (India) say Azad Kashmir is ours, they say make the Line of Control permanent. We have not accepted this. We have given a proposal, which provides an opportunity for both sides to find a peaceful resolution. Both sides have to move back from their stated positions," Musharraf added.