Tuesday, June 17, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Musharraf backtracks on Kargil, talks peace
Says he has been quoted out of context

Rawalpindi, June 16
The Pakistan President, Gen Pervez Musharraf, said his country would not be bullied by neighbouring India over the Kashmir issue and insisted he wanted peace in the region, but not on India’s terms.

Relations between the neighbours have thawed in the past two months, since the Indian Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, opened the door to talks over Kashmir. However, Gen Musharraf told Reuters in an interview late yesterday that he was not convinced of India’s genuine commitment to peace.

He said: "Talks should move faster, can move faster. Whether or not we move forward on the Kashmir issue, time will tell.” The words appeared to throw further cold water on hopes for quick progress in easing tensions in South Asia.

“The problem with India is that she is too conscious of her large size and believes in coercing her neighbours,” Gen Musharraf said.” They want to dictate terms to us; they want to dictate their version of a solution. We will not take that. We will take three steps if they take one, but let them not treat us like any small country around. We are a powerful nation.”

He said India took every opportunity to malign Pakistan and had tried to bully it last year by stationing troops along the border after an attack on the Indian Parliament which New Delhi had blamed on Pakistan.

In an interview to an Indian television channel, Musharraf appeared not to rule out a recurrence of clashes in 1999 in the Kargil region of Kashmir, comments which India said condoned “military adventurism”. Gen Musharraf told Reuters he had been quoted out of context.

Gen Musharraf sets off later this week for a visit to Britain, the United States of America, Germany and France, crowned by a meeting with the President of the USA, Mr George W. Bush, on June 24. He said he wanted the USA to put more pressure on India to accept that the dispute must be resolved for peaceful progress in the region. Reuters



Jamali harps on UN Resolution

Islamabad, June 16
Accusing India of making “cynical” attempts to portray the Kashmiri “struggle for self-determination” as terrorism, the Pakistan Prime Minister, Mr Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali has demanded implementation of the UN resolutions on Kashmir, termed by New Delhi as outdated.

At a banquet hosted in honour of visiting Turkish Prime Minister, Mr Recep Tayyip Erdagon here yesterday, Mr Jamali said Pakistan condemned terrorism in all its manifestations and it had been the first country to join the international coalition in the war against terror.

Meanwhile, ruling out the possibility of accepting the Line of Control (LoC) as the permanent border between India and Pakistan, Islamabad today said no new roadmap on Kashmir would be discussed at the Camp David summit between the President of the USA, Mr George Bush, and the Pakistan President, General Pervez Musharraf. Agencies


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