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'Indian comments unwarranted'

K J M Varma in Islamabad | July 27, 2004 20:55 IST

Pakistan on Tuesday insisted on  resolution of the Kashmir issue within a timeframe and termed  as "unwarranted" India's "disappointment" over certain remarks by Islamabad after last week's meeting between President  Pervez Musharraf and Union External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh.

"This kind of disappointment or this kind of comment on what we have issued is unwarranted. But at the same time let  me reiterate what President has spoken. He talked about  simultaneity in the progress of all issues particularly about  central issue of Jammu and Kashmir. He talked about a  reasonable timeframe," Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman  Masood Khan told reporters in Islamabad replying to a question.

"You have to have to have time management for Kashmir dispute. You have to resolve it in a timeframe and your goals and objectives are related to the time-line. This cannot be an open ended process and the discussions cannot go on forever," he said.

External Affairs Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna had said on Saturday in New Delhi: "We are disappointed at the tone and substance of some of the comments made in the press release issued by the Pakistan Foreign office on Friday after the Singh-Musharraf meeting."

Khan said the Kashmir issue was discussed for more than half a century. "What the President is trying to say is that  we should have clear objectives and they should do this in a timeframe. This point needs to be emphasised and it should cause no resentment."

Asked what Pakistan meant by a timeframe, Khan said the Composite Dialogue process was on track but there should not
be any scepticism about the direction of the peace process.

"The pace and direction of the roadmap is fine. But resolution of Jammu and Kashmir requires special attention. We need to prioritise. This is a challenge, that is why you have to relate it to a timeframe," he said.

He said Musharraf articulated during his talks with Singh that 'this whole process is meaningful and result oriented'.

He said Musharraf also spoke of sincerity in resolving Kashmir issue. "Let me add here that the other element that the president touched on in his meeting with Natwar Singh was there should be sincerity in pursuing this process."

"You have to give people of Jammu and Kashmir some comforts. What the President meant by that is while there is ceasefire along LoC, while everybody is saying that the so called infiltration has gone down, human rights violations in  Jammu and Kashmir must go down, so that people of J&K have the feeling that they are also part of the process and that  the process of CBM between India and Pakistan could also travel to Srinagar and other cities," Khan said.

Asked when the Kashmiri leadership would be involved in the peace process, he said the two countries have just started the composite dialogue process and Pakistan wanted their involvement once the process moved forward. "They are the most important stake holders. They have to be associated."

About the fencing on LoC by India, he said Pakistan has lodged complaints with New Delhi and UN. It was discussed during last month's Foreign Secretary-level talks and Pakistan would raise the issue when the two Foreign Secretaries meet again in New Delhi on September 4 ahead of Foreign Ministers' meeting on September 5 and 6.

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