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Musharraf links peace to Kashmir

Ajay Kaul in Islamabad | October 04, 2005 23:36 IST
Last Updated: October 04, 2005 01:31 IST

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf [Images] said on Tuesday that 'progress' needed to be shown on resolving the Kashmir issue, as External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh met him and exchanged views on a host of issues, including Siachen and Sir Creek.

During the 40-minute meeting, Musharraf, however, remained non-committal on curbing cross-border terrorism and even suggested violence in Jammu and Kashmir [Images] could be due to 'some local problems', sources said.

When Singh raised the continued cross-border terrorism and infiltration and referred to his assurance to end it, Musharraf said he had done a lot in this direction.

The Pakistani leader said 'progress needed to be shown' on resolving the Kashmir issue as he had to convince his domestic constituency that he was serious on it, they said.

Singh said he and Musharraf 'reaffirmed our commitment not to permit terrorism to impede the peace process'. He said they agreed that the two countries had made 'significant progress' since last January, when the current dialogue process began.

Musharraf and Singh expressed satisfaction over the ongoing dialogue process between the two countries which covers eight issues, including Kashmir, Siachen and Sir Creek, the sources said.

Musharraf also said he was looking forward to the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] to his country. "A warm welcome awaits him," Musharraf told Singh.

Musharraf and Dr Singh had met in New York last month on the margin of the UN General Assembly and earlier in April in New Delhi and pledged to carry forward the peace process between the two countries.

Replying to a question, Singh said the invitation was extended some time ago by President Musharraf. Dr Singh had accepted the invitation and the visit would take place sooner than later.

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