Hours before his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf sought United States' help in persuading India on troops reduction in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly from specific areas, to achieve some forward movement for the resolution of the Kashmir issue.
During a half-hour one-on-one meeting with President George W Bush in New York, Musharraf said a pullout of troops from certain areas in Jammu and Kashmir would be a definite step towards meaningful progress on the Kashmir problem, according to state-run Pakistani news agency, APP. The areas were later identified by Ambassador Jahangir Karamat as Baramula and Kupwara.
President Bush held the meeting with Musharraf before a reception he hosted for world leaders, who are here to attend the United Nations General Assembly, marking its 60th anniversary. Musharraf said if there was no Indian reciprocity on the key Kashmir issue, all other confidence-building measures would lose their impact.
"The proposal is a message for India and the United States as well," Karamat said, in reply to a question and added that Washington has all along been facilitating the peace process between the two South Asian neighbours. Bush also met Dr Singh, who told the American leader that Pakistan still controls the flow of terror in the state and 'this (flow) must stop, for any real progress to be made in the peace process'.
On Afghanistan, Musharraf reaffirmed Pakistan's commitment to peace and stability in that country, especially during the upcoming parliamentary elections.