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Pak trashes Musharraf's formula on Kashmir

June 30, 2010 13:29 IST

The Pakistan government has trashed former president Pervez Musharraf's four-point formula to resolve Kashmir issue, saying it was "his thinking" which did not have the endorsement of Pakistan Parliament or Cabinet and suggested a fresh approach to address the vexed problem.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who will be meeting External Affairs Minister S M Krishna in Islamabad on July 15, said the two countries should build on progress made in any area and look at ways to make progress where it has not been done.

"We will not like to ignore anything. We will not like to ignore any development or any positive development that has taken place between India and Pakistan," he told PTI in an interview in Islamabad.

He was responding when asked to comment on India's emphasis that there was a need to "reaffirm" the progress made through "complex negotiations and dialogue through patient and unsung effort" whether in the composite dialogue or back channel diplomacy.

"Any issue, whether it is Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek, water, any issue where progress can be made, should be made. Where it hasn't been made, we should look at ways and means how to make progress. Where progress has been made, let us build on it further," Qureshi said in a wide-ranging interaction.

Asked whether his government endorses the four-point formula floated by Musharraf in December 2006 to resolve Kashmir issue, he said, "The four-point formula that Gen Musharraf made then was his thinking. It was being done through quiet back-channel diplomacy."

The formula envisaged softening of Line of Control, self-governance, phased withdrawal of troops from entire Jammu and Kashmir and joint supervision by India and Pakistan.

"We are a democracy, Parliament has to own them, Parliament has to endorse them, Cabinet has to discuss them," the foreign minister said, adding these proposals were "neither discussed by Cabinet, nor endorsed by Parliament. So, as democrats, there are certain parliamentary procedures that we have to fulfill."

Qureshi noted that over the last six decades many proposals have been made for resolution of the Kashmir issue.

"Over 61 proposals have been under discussion, some (given) by India, some by Pakistan and some by third party experts on how to resolve it," he said.

"It is a complex problem, there are no easy solutions, but if environment is created, then both sides can see what lies in their interest," the Pakistan foreign minister said.

Queried whether he had any proposals to resolve Kashmir issue, he responded, "I have ideas but can't share with you. I can share with Mr Krishna... I would like to be transparent with him, I would like to be candid, I would like to be honest and I would like to be constructive."

On whether he planned to share these ideas with Krishna during their upcoming meeting on July 15 in Islamabad, he indicated that he may not do so.

"This is the first meeting after a considerable pause. We will have to build on confidence level on both sides," he said.

Asked whether he had any new confidence-building measures in mind, he said this aspect could be talked about "when the time comes".

Ajay Kaul in Islamabad
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