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Musharraf calls for enabling environment to resolve Kashmir issue

By Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
February 04, 2008 18:23 IST
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Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf on Monday advocated the need for creating an 'enabling environment' for the success of the India-Pakistan peace process and said the Kashmir issue could be resolved through 'sincerity, courage and flexibility'.

In a message on the eve of the 'Kashmir Solidarity Day' to be observed on Tuesday across Pakistan, Musharraf said, "We firmly believe that an enabling environment is necessary for the success of the peace process".

"We remain engaged in a sincere, sustained and purposeful dialogue with India on Kashmir. We believe that with sincerity, courage and flexibility, we can achieve a solution to the long-standing Kashmir dispute," he said.

Referring to his four-point proposal aimed at breaking the decades-old deadlock, he said this demonstrated Pakistan's 'readiness to work constructively to find a solution acceptable to all parties, especially the Kashmiris'.

The proposal envisages the demilitarisation of Kashmir and joint control of the region by India and Pakistan.

Several Kashmir-related confidence-building measures initiated by Pakistan had brought 'some relief' to Kashmiris living on both sides of the Line of Control, he said.

Pakistan always stressed the need to end violence and human rights abuses in the Indian part of Kashmir, he added.

Musharraf reiterated Pakistan's commitment to extend moral, political and diplomatic support for a "just and peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people".

Musharraf noted that the Kashmir issue remained on the agenda of the United Nations as 'an unfulfilled obligation'. Musharraf said, "Pakistan stands in solidarity with our Kashmiri brothers and sisters and assures them of our full support in their just struggle for self-determination".

Pakistan has observed the Kashmir Solidarity Day since 1990, when the insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir backed by Islamabad was at its peak.

In a separate message, caretaker prime minister Muhammedmian Soomro said lasting peace in the region could be achieved only if the world community and India honoured 'the pledge made to the Kashmiri people for their right to self-determination'.

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Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
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