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Zardari compares Kashmir with Palestine
January 28, 2009 16:27 IST
Notwithstanding the Obama [Images] Administration's assertion that Kashmir is not in the mandate of Richard Holbrooke, President Asif Ali Zardari [Images] on Wednesday hoped the Special US Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan will work towards a 'just and reasonable' solution to the issue.
'We hope that the special envoy (Holbrooke) will work with India and Pakistan not only to bring a just and reasonable resolution to the issues of Kashmir and Jammu but also to address critical economic and environmental concerns,' Zardari wrote in an opinion piece published in The Washington Post in which he compared Kashmir with Palestine.
The Pakistan President's statement comes a day after the US State Department categorically clarified that Kashmir is not in the mandate of Holbrooke.
Zardari, in his opinion piece, said that Holbrooke, with his experience, 'surely understands that peace in our region can be secured only by addressing long-term and neglected problems'.
'Much as the Palestinian issue remains the core obstacle to peace in the Middle East, the question of Kashmir must be addressed in some meaningful way to bring stability to this region,' he said.
Whereas Holbrooke has been designated as Special US Envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan, Zardari has identified him as a special envoy for Southwest Asia.
'Appointing the seasoned diplomat Richard Holbrooke says much about the (US) President's world view and his understanding of the complexities of peace and stability and the threats of extremism and terrorism. Simply put, we must move beyond rhetoric and tackle the hard problems,' Zardari said.
Whereas, the Obama Administration has de-linked, as was the policy of the Bush Administration, India from Afghan-Pak imbroglio, Zardari has tried to include New Delhi [Images] as a party to it.
'Pakistan has repeatedly been identified as the most critical external problem facing the new Administration. The situation in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India is indeed critical, but its severity actually presents an opportunity for aggressive and innovative action,' the Pakistan President said.
Since the end of the 'Musharraf dictatorship', Pakistan has worked to confront the challenges of a young democracy facing an active insurgency, within the context of aninternational economic crisis, Zardari said.
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