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Pak gives up confrontationist stand on J&K

By K J M Varma in Islamabad
February 05, 2007 15:50 IST
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As Pakistan observed Kashmir Solidarity Day, President Pervez Musharraf Monday said the focus of efforts to resolve the issue has changed from a "confrontationist" approach to that of "reconciliation".

"There is a change of focus from confrontationist stance to reconciliatory resolution of dispute" which makes the Kashmir Day this year different from previous years, he told reporters in Islamabad.

The environment has shifted towards a peaceful resolution, and progress was being made in dialogue process with India but at the same time more work need to be done towards its consolidation, Musharraf said before leaving for a visit to Iran and Turkey.

"This day has great significance as focus has changed towards the resolution of the dispute and I am happy about it," he added. "We are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel where we may be able to resolve the dispute for good, and for the benefit of the people of Kashmir and to give them final peace," he said.

Apparently referring to growing differences between the moderate groups and militants, Musharraf urged Kashmiri people, groups and their leaders to have "unanimity of thought and harmony" to move forward on the path of peace and progress and to "guide" Islamabad's efforts to find a solution to the vexed problem.

"I urge you all to bring unity amongst your ranks and files, bring harmony in your thoughts - I appeal all leaders, parties and all shades of thoughts for unanimity of views and to guide us how to resolve this issue."

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K J M Varma in Islamabad
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