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Talks must progress by July: Musharraf

K J M Varma in Islamabad | March 31, 2004 19:59 IST
Last Updated: March 31, 2004 20:00 IST

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has said he would "not be a party" to the Indo-Pak peace process if there was no forward movement, especially on Kashmir, by July-August this year.

"They [Indians] know that. I told everyone absolutely unambiguously that if you think that I am here to sell Kashmir, you are talking to the wrong man," Musharraf said during a meeting with journalists and officials in Islamabad on Tuesday night.

Indian and Pakistani foreign secretaries and ministers are slated to meet in July-August to hold talks on all contentious issues.

Musharraf said confidence-building measures and talks would have to move ahead in tandem to resolve Kashmir and six other issues, including differences over Siachen glacier.

"I am confident that things will move forward when the two countries go into the next round of talks," he said.

He rejected the Indian charge of cross-border terrorism and reiterated that militancy in Kashmir was a freedom struggle.

He also termed the Lok Sabha polls in Kashmir as "repeat of drama" of the assembly polls.

Referring to the split in the All-Parties Hurriyat conference, he said it was in the interest of the Kashmiris to speak in a united voice.

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