Musharraf says he can''t abandon Kashmir issue
14 September 2002
The Hindustan Times
New York: Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf says he would be thrown out of power if he abandons the Kashmir issue. ''No leader, no government of Pakistan can leave or abandon from the issue of Kashmir. Any effort to sideline this issue will not work because the people are involved in it,'' he said in an address to the Asia Society here on Friday. Elaborating further on the pitfalls for a Pakistani leader to abandon Kashmir issue, Musharraf went on to say: ''It is not possible. Nobody can do it. He''ll be eliminated. He''ll be out of government. He''ll be defeated. His government will be defeated,'' Musharraf said it was also time that India dropped its opposition to outside mediation in the Kashmir question. ''We have been trying for all these years through a bilateral approach to move forward on Kashmir, and where has it ended,'' the President said. ''If bilateralism is not producing results then certainly mediation or third party involvement is the answer,'' he said. At another function held in his honour here, Musharraf, while making a reference to an article in an Indian magazine talking of how can India be proud of ''one achievement'', he said, ''India should be ashamed of a thousand other things.'' At the Asia Society function, Musharraf said Kashmir dispute is undermining peace in the region.