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'Relocation of troops in line with Musharraf's proposal'
K J M Varma in Islamabad
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January 22, 2007 20:44 IST

Pakistan on Monday said there was "no contradiction" between President Pervez Musharraf's proposal of demilitarisation of Jammu and Kashmir and the relocation of troops by India, which will give the people "breathing space."

Replying to a question, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tasnim Aslam told reporters in Islamabad, "Demilitarisation is part of proposals forwarded by President Musharraf to resolve Kashmir issue. When we talk about relocation, as a first step we have been asking for (relocation of) 700 Indian troops in Kashmir and we have been asking India to relocate them from urban centres so that people have breathing space and (it would) remove the psychological barrier."

"Since the troops are there in large numbers, incidents of human rights violations also go up. There is no contradiction between the two," she said.

When pointed out that Musharraf during his meeting with Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq on January 19 said that elements hostile to the peace process and his proposals should be strongly countered and rejected, Aslam said Musharraf referred to "misperceptions" about Pakistan's stand.

"The president said there is a need to understand Pakistan's position which is that any solution to the Kashmir dispute that is not acceptable to Kashmiris cannot be acceptable to Pakistan. Despite that, there are some misunderstandings. He is referring to those. They should not be encouraged," she said.

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