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Don't misread Musharraf's J&K proposal: Pak

By Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
January 23, 2008 22:02 IST
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Pakistan on Wednesday said President Pervez Musharraf's four-point proposal on Kashmir issue or any other suggestions for 'out of the box solutions' did not amount to a shift in its stand that the dispute be resolved in line with the UN resolutions.

"Pakistan provides political, diplomatic and moral support in Kashmir and favours a solution of the Kashmir issue through the UN resolutions," Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Sadiq told a weekly news briefing.

"In addition to India and Pakistan, Kashmiris are a party to the dispute and they should be on board (in efforts to resolve the issue)," he said, adding that Pakistan was also opposed to the fencing of the Line of Control by India.

Asked if his comments amounted to a shift from President Musharraf's four-point proposal to resolve Kashmir, Sadiq said such suggestions for 'out of the box solutions' did not amount to moving away from Islamabad's stated position.

"The stated position is (the resolution of the Kashmir issue on the basis of) the UN resolutions. We have never moved from that," he said.

Musharraf had in 2006 proposed demilitarisation of Kashmir, self-governance, soft borders and joint control to resolve the vexed issue.

Replying to a question about Pakistan's composite dialogue with India, Sadiq said the next round of talks could begin only after the two countries concluded the current round of parleys with a meeting of their foreign secretaries.

This meeting, he said, is expected to be held 'in the near future.'

Asked about British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's support for India's candidature for permanent membership of the UN Security Council, Sadiq said Pakistan opposed the expansion of world body's permanent membership.

Pakistan, spokesman said, is 'an active member of the Uniting for Consensus Group, which opposes expansion in the permanent category,' adding 'we are against the creation of new centres of privilege.'

"We support just and equitable reform that corresponds to the interests of all, not just a few member states. We support equal and non-discriminatory approach for all regional groups with regard to their representation in the Council," he said.

Pakistan is working to promote a solution to the reforms of the UN 'through negotiations by consensus or the broadest possible agreement.'

Asked about the increase in defence cooperation between India and Israel and the recent launch of an Israeli spy satellite by India's space agency, Sadiq said Pakistan is opposed to the introduction of new weapon systems in South Asia.

The region needs 'food, economic development and growth' and not new weapon systems, he said.

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Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
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