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Sidelining Kashmir won't do: Musharraf
K J M Varma in Islamabad |
June 17, 2003 16:07 IST
Ruling out any possibility of Pakistan accepting the Line of Control as international border in a compromise deal with India, President Pervez Musharraf has said that his country would talk on all matters, but would not allow any sidelining of the core issue of Kashmir.
"LoC is the problem and cannot be a solution," he told mediapersons in Islamabad late on Monday night before leaving for Britain on the first leg of a four-nation tour.
"There is no doubt that Kashmir is still the core issue between India and Pakistan," he said, but stressed that Pakistan and India could make significant headway in their talks to resolve all bilateral issues, including the vexed Kashmir
Expressing satisfaction over some 'positive statements' made by Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani on the desire to resolve the Kashmir issue, Musharraf said his visit to the US was not linked to the Indian leader's recent trip to the country.
He said during his visit to the United States, both sides will hold talks on bilateral matters and the regional situation, including Kashmir, Afghanistan the Middle East.
Musharraf said Pakistan has so far taken no decision on sending its troops to Iraq for peacekeeping. "Before taking any decision on this issue, Pakistan would look into its modalities, ground realities, financial implications and cover by United Nations and Islamic countries," he said.
Stating that Al Qaeda terror network has lost its backbone and most of its leadership is arrested except some second or third string leadership, he said: "We are operating against them. I cannot say with guarantee where they are. In my view they are in small numbers but they are all on the run."
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