India, Pak have achieved breakthrough: Musharraf

Himalayan News Service

Islamabad, April 25:

India and Pakistan have achieved a “breakthrough” in their peace process and have “clearly resolved” to move towards a “final settlement” of the Kashmir problem, President Pervez Musharraf has said. “My talks (in New Delhi) with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yielded positive results and led to a joint statement which reflected a clear resolve to address all issues and a resolve to move towards a final settlement of the Kashmir issue,” the president said in an interview with the state-run APP news agency. “A breakthrough has been achi-eved in the peace process between the two countries,” the president said. “Prime Minister Singh has unambiguously expressed the resolve to solve all issues, including Kashmir, as also stated in the joint statement. He also committed himself to resolving all disputes at the multi-lateral forum of the Asian-African Summit in Jakarta when he said we want to resolve all issues in an amicable manner,” the president said.

He said he was hopeful of progress towards a fair resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. “I am optimistic — there is sincerity as it has been accepted that all issues should be addressed — we have to address the Kashmir issue.” Musharraf said the general environment

between Pakistan and India had improved “substantially” after his visit. Musharraf, who also watched the final India-Pakistan one-day cricket match in New Delhi on April 17 before his talks with Manmohan Singh, said he was pleased with Pakistan’s victory in the series. The president said he told UN Secretary General Kofi Annan during a meeting on the sidelines of the Jakarta summit that the expansion of the Security Council should be only in the non-permanent category.