Thursday, June 28, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

20 leaders support Musharraf

Islamabad, June 27
Twenty political leaders who attended a meeting convened by the Pakistan President, Gen Pervez Musharraf, today extended their full support to him for his summit talks with Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.

The meeting was boycotted by the mainstream 19-party Alliance for Restoration of Democracy (ARD), which included the PPP and PML (Nawaz) of former Premiers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, respectively.

Politicians who took part in the five-hour meeting assured General Musharraf of their “fullest support in his endeavours to solve the long-standing issue of Kashmir and prayed for his success, their domestic differences notwithstanding,” the state-run APP news agency said.

During the meeting, General Musharraf asserted that in his talks with Mr Vajpayee on July 15, Kashmir would be the core issue and everything else would follow it, the agency said.

“The Line of Control (LoC) is the problem and could not be interpreted as a solution to the problem of Kashmir,” General Musharraf was quoted as saying.

Both PPP vice-president Mukhdoom Fahim and ARD chairman Nawabzada Nasurullah Khan boycotted the meeting, which was attended by Pakistan’s third largest party Mutahida Quami Movement and Jammat-e-Islami.

Two of the pro-military leaders of the PML, the speakers of the dissolved the National Assembly and Senate also attended the meeting.

PPP and PML said their boycott had nothing to do with General Musharraf’s July 14-16 visit to India. They said their protest was against his “illegal and unconstitutional” step to assume presidency.

According to APP, General Musharraf told the leaders attending the meeting that he was “encouraged by their sense of patriotism and commitment to the cause of Kashmiri people.”

Cricketer-turned-politician and president of Tehreek-e-Insaf party Imran Khan said after the meeting that General Musharraf told the leaders that he was going to India with an open mind and without any specific agenda.

“All the leaders who attended the meeting extended their full support to General Musharraf. After all Kashmir is the main irritant between the two countries and once it is solved the two countries could divert their energies to develop trade and political relations,” he said.

Mr Imran said extension of support by the political parties should not be construed that they were endorsing the “military dictatorship” in the country.

“We have our differences with the government but we are united on the issue of Kashmir and General Musharraf’s summit meeting with India,” he said.

Mr Imran said the military regime should not have interfered with the process of democracy in the name of eradicating corruption. PTI


India against APHC-Musharraf meeting

Islamabad, June 27
India has officially informed Pakistan that it is not willing to permit Hurriyat Conference leaders to meet President Pervez Musharraf during his forthcoming visit to India.

The Indian reservations on the Hurriyat leaders’ efforts to politically resurrect themselves by meeting President Musharraf in New Delhi has been conveyed at the highest level in Islamabad during mutual consultations between the officials of the two countries to prepare groundwork for the forthcoming summit meeting between General Musharraf and Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, official sources said here.

The Indian stand to keep the Hurriyat leaders out of the broad parameters of the crucial summit assumed significance in the light of yesterday’s assertion by the Pakistani President that he would try his best to meet them during his stay in India.

Obviously, keeping the Indian reservations in mind, General Musharraf during his interaction with senior editors of Pakistani newspapers said while he continued to make efforts to meet the Hurriyat leaders, it however, was not his endeavour to go for a confrontation with Indian leadership on the issue. PTI

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |