Musharraf sees early Kashmir settlement

Posted in Broader Middle East | 26-Apr-07 | Source: (Pakistan)

Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf in Madrid.
DRID, April 25: President Pervez Musharraf has said that the world may see the resolution of Kashmir dispute earlier than expected.

“A reasonable progress on this account has already been achieved,” President Musharraf said while addressing the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Spanish Congress on Wednesday.

He said military option was not the answer to the problem. The option of using force to settle bilateral disputes between Pakistan and India had never worked, he said.

He said people of both the countries wanted peace and harmony so that their resources and energies could be utilised in the socio-economic sector.

He said the two countries had taken several confidence-building measures, but the CBMs alone would not be enough to achieve the objective of peace and normalisation of their relations.

The two countries must move towards conflict resolution, the president emphasised.

He termed Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh a credible leader and a man of peace who supported Pakistan’s strong desire for the settlement of the Kashmir issue considering it a main cause of tension.

He emphasised the need for the world to deal with crucial issues like terrorism.

President Musharraf said elections would be held in the country this year on time.

He also spoke about Pakistan’s efforts towards peace in Afghanistan and acceptance of the offer by the Turkish prime minister to host talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Ankara later this week.

About Iran’s nuclear programme, the president said Pakistan was looking forward to a peaceful solution to the problem.

Addressing a gathering of overseas Pakistanis, the president said Pakistan had to eliminate extremism and terrorism, which were eating into the foundation of the society. He said the nation had to create harmony and balance in the society to ensure progress and prosperity of the people.

The president said the government was negotiating with Spain for opening a consulate in Barcelona and to starting direct flights between the two countries.

President Musharraf awarded state medals to six Spanish military personnel and eight civilians in recognition of their aid work after the October 20005 earthquake.—Agencies