Musharraf puts Kashmir on par with Palestine problem

United Nations, September 15:

Comparing Kashmir with Palestine, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf yesterday called for a “just solution” to the lingering conflict in Jammu and Kashmir.

In a brief address at the 60th session of the General Assembly, Musharraf also came out against India’s aspirations to win a seat on the Security Council by saying “a new elite” should not occupy the top UN body.

Musharraf’s main comments were related to Jammu and Kashmir, where insurgent violence that broke out in 1989 is blamed by India on Pakistan.

The president referred to various challenges facing the world, and then said: “Yet we cannot ignore the festering problems from the past. Peace must come to the people of Palestine and to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.” He also spoke about the India-Pakistan peace process.

“It is in this spirit that Pakistan is pursuing a composite dialogue. We want the peace process to be result-oriented for starting a new era of peace and cooperation in South Asia. Our nations must not remain trapped by hate ... cycle of confrontation and conflict.

“For this to happen, it is essential to find a just solution of the dispute in Jammu and Kashmir acceptable to Pakistan, India and above all the people of Jammu and Kashmir.” Musharraf said he agreed that the UN Security Council should be expanded but “not by adding a new elite but by reflecting the entire spectrum of the UN”.

Tete-a-tete with Sharon:


President President Pervez Musharraf met Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon during a social moment at the United Nations on Wednesday. At an impromptu press briefing that Musharraf staged with Britain’s Prime Minister Tony Blair, when the press asked the Pakistani president about his meeting with the Israeli leader, he said, “I was standing in a group. And he (Sharon) joined the group. He asked me how I was, and I asked him how he was — and that was it.” Musharraf is meeting with the American Jewish Committee for the first time during this visit to the United Nations. — HNS