Thursday, May 19, 2022

Now A 'Time Bound' Framework

No beating around the bush, no progress if the two sides stick to stated positions, says Musharraf

Now A 'Time Bound' Framework

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has said he would try to evolve a "time bound" framework to resolve the Kashmir issue during the Indo-Pak summit and asserted that the problem could even be resolved in "months" if the two countries are "sincere and open minded."

In his interaction with some Pakistan-based foreign journalists as also leaders of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir yesterday, Musharraf said he would be flexible and have an open mind in his meeting with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee next month.

Declining to divulge the proposals he would make during the summit, he, however, warned that there would be "no progress if the two sides stick to their stated positions too rigidly," media reports said.

But if both are sincere and open minded the Kashmir issue could be resolved "may be in months," he was quoted as saying.

Musharraf insisted that he would not allow the summit to be frittered away on "minor irritants" and said all other problems could be fixed easily once the Kashmir issue is resolved.

"I am hopeful we will not beat around the bush. I will be really disappointed if we follow the hackneyed path of past bilateral meetings that have bogged down on the Kashmir issue," he said.

At his meeting with PoK leaders on the upcoming summit, he said during his talks with Vajpayee "I would call for a certain framework for the resolution of Kashmir problem".

Briefing the local media on the meeting, Kashmiri Affairs Minister Abbas Sarfaraz Khan said previously there was no framework for talks, nor timetable for the resolution of the Kashmir problem. But now efforts would be made by Musharraf to have some time bound framework to resolve this issue.

Musharraf told the leaders that he would urge the "Indian leadership that dialogue must continue under certain framework".

Khan said all issues, including Siachen, could also come up for discussion during the summit, the daily 'Dawn' reported.

"The President said he himself believes that there cannot be any instant solution for all the problems and that he is going to India with an open mind and with an effort to create a conducive environment for future talks," Khan said.

English daily 'The News' quoting official sources reported that close defence coopration between Pakistan and China is likely to be among the issues that would figure at the summit.

It said India might seek details from Pakistan on the multi-million dollar China's investment and its involvement in the southern Gwadar port development project.

Besides Kashmir, other issues likely to be come up were bilateral trade, transit facilities for India for access to the Central Asian States and Iran-India gas pipeline, the daily said.