M A I N   N E W S

India ready to smoke peace pipe with Pak
But borders can’t be redrawn: MEA
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 5
The Ministry of External Affairs is studying with a fine tooth comb the latest trial balloon floated by Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf-that Pakistan was willing to give up claim on Kashmir.

General Musharraf said in an interview to NDTV that Pakistan was also willing to give up its old demand for plebiscite in Kashmir and prepared to forget the UN resolutions on Kashmir.

Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma told this correspondent that it was “neither possible, nor appropriate” to respond to every interview given by Pakistani leadership to news channels, newspapers and magazines.

“As far as the Indian position on Kashmir is concerned, it is clear, unambiguous, unchanged. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has clearly stated that the borders cannot be redrawn but we should make efforts to make the borders irrelevant. India is keen to smoke the peace pipe with Pakistan,” Mr Sharma said.

Gen Musharraf told the NDTV that “Pakistan giving up its claim on Kashmir would be a historic turnaround and is based on the four-point solution for Kashmir.” India has refused to redraw the boundaries or give away territory while Pakistan refuses to accept the Line of Control as international border. General Musharraf’s four-point solution is as follows:

  • Kashmir will have the same borders but people will be allowed to move freely back and forth in the region.
  • The region will have self-governance or autonomy, but not independence.
  • Troops will be withdrawn from the region in a staggered manner.
  • A joint supervision mechanism will be set up with India, Pakistan and Kashmir represented.

However, the Government of India believes that General Musharraf has said nothing new. In fact, he has floated yet another trial balloon to deflect the international community’s attention from an advanced move in European Parliament which, if successful, could embarrass Pakistan.

An explosive draft report is awaiting to be adopted as a Motion for European Parliament Resolution. It is for the first time that such an important institution as European Parliament has put Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) under the microscope and openly criticised Islamabad for promotion of jehadi culture and lack of democracy and human rights in PoK.

The November 23, 2006 draft report says that the European Parliament is “very concerned” that initially hesitant reaction to the Kashmir earthquake by the Pakistani military created “a needs vacuum” in the immediate aftermath, which was exploited by militant organisations on the ground.

One of the clauses of the draft report relates to the quake relief money going to jehadi outfits. Pakistan has gone on an over-drive in contacting all EU member countries to ensure that the draft report is not carried in its present form.



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