Thursday, June 26, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Kashmir: Pervez sees more role for Bush

Washington, June 25
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has said he would like US President George W. Bush to involve himself in a West Asia-style ‘roadmap’ on Kashmir, but feared India would not allow that as it wanted bilateral resolution “of everything”.

Asked on an ABC interview whether Mr Bush supported Pakistan’s desire for more involvement by him in the Kashmir dispute, General Musharraf said “Yes, he always says that he will remain committed to bringing peace and harmony between India and Pakistan.”

The questioner reminded General Musharraf that ‘remaining committed’ was different from ‘becoming involved’ and asked whether he would like the US President to become involved in a West Asia-style roadmap between India and Pakistan.

General Musharraf replied: “Pakistan would certainly like that, because we are of the opinion that there should be external influence, whether you call it mediation or facilitation.”

“But unfortunately the other side, the Indian side, that talks of bilateral resolution of everything - although they know that there is a (great) deal of facilitation going on behind the scenes - they don’t want to talk about it.”

He said “We believe in talking, whatever is really happening. So Pakistan would encourage it. We would certainly like to have his (Mr Bush’s) involvement.”

Asked whether he would consider giving up either the post of President or Army Chief, General Musharraf replied, “I was wearing four hats initially. When I took over (as President), I was the Chief of Army Staff, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Chief Executive and President.

Asked whether Pakistan might recognise Israel as a state in the future, General Musharraf said Islamabad would “examine” its policy towards Tel Aviv on the basis of the ongoing peace process in West Asia. — PTI

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