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'Pakistan army committed to Kashmir issue'
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March 12, 2008 21:02 IST

The Pakistan Army is committed to the Kashmir issue 'in line with the aspirations' of the country, army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani said on Wednesday.

During a visit to forward locations near the Line of Control in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir, Kayani 'highlighted the national consensus that exists on the Kashmir issue'.

Kayani 'reaffirmed the commitment of the Pakistan Army to the Kashmir cause in line with the aspirations of the Pakistani nation', said a statement issued by the military.

Kayani's comments came in the wake of Pakistan People's Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari's remarks that India and Pakistan should not let their relations be held hostage to the Kashmir dispute.

Zardari also said the two countries could set aside the Kashmir issue to be resolved by a future generation while they focussed on trade and other aspects of their ties.

Since he was appointed as army chief by President Pervez Musharraf [Images] in November last year, Kayani has taken several steps to separate the army from politics. The army chief, who has barred senior officers from meeting politicians, recently said his force would 'stay out of the political process'.

Addressing officers, junior commissioned officers and non commissioned officers during his visit to positions near the LoC, Kayani also said 'it is always the valiant and professionally sound military commander who leads his men from the front' and this 'proves decisive in challenging situations'.

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