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Kashmir: Pak wants international guarantees

May 24, 2005 16:33 IST

Adding a new dimension to the India-Pakistan peace process, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has said he would prefer some kind of 'international guarantee' for implementation of any pact on Kashmir.

"I don't know, I haven't thought of this point, but may be the peace process should be guaranteed by the international community. I think if we reach an agreement, there should be something other than just bilateral guarantees.

Also see: 'Kashmir solution can't be religion-based'

"I think the international community should play a role in the guarantees. And this is a new thing that I am saying," he said in an interview to a Pakistani daily.

The Pakistan president had last week said a solution to the Kashmir issue could not be on 'any religious basis' and must to be found within India's stand of no redrawing of borders.

Elaborating the new element, Musharraf said in the interview: "We are talking of guarantees which go beyond us. If we reach an agreement and we are reasonably sure that it will be followed, there is no harm why we should be so stuck up...I think we will have better permanence if the international community is involved, finally, in the guarantee," Daily
newspaper quoted him as saying.

Musharraf said 12 months would be a good enough time to reach an agreement on Kashmir.

Answering a question about where he saw the peace process heading in the next one year, Musharraf said: "If we move forward, which we can, if we have the courage I am very sure this (Kashmir) whole issue can be put behind in 12 months."

Musharraf said the process may take a better shape within a year's time.

"I see them looking much better. My only hope is Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stays and is allowed to move forward. I am very glad to say that my interaction with BJP leaders, Advani and Vajpayee, has been very good. The only thing that I said was please don't oppose it because you are in the opposition.

"And then the coalition partners, the Communist members who are very strong in the coalition, they are totally on board. We must resolve this issue," he said.

Asked who will represent Kashmiris at the talks, Musharraf said: "This is another sensitive issue. I feel the true representatives of Kashmiris is the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, the APHC. We feel that there has to be a trilateral arrangement where Kashmiris become part of the dialogue process."

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