February 2003 News

Pakistan will not ask India for dialogue any more: Musharraf

24 February 2003
News Network International

KUALA LUMPUR: President General Pervez Musharraf Monday made it clear that if India does not want talk, Pakistan will also not hold talks with them. We have offered India for dialogue many a times, but India ignored the offer. Now we will not ask India for holding dialogue any more. The President was talking to international media persons who gathered in a large number outside the Bernama mini studio where General Musharraf gave interview to Reuters, NBC TV and Star TV. The President was asked by an Indian journalist as if he would shake hand with Indian prime minister Vajpayee, General Pervez Musharraf said, 'No if he wants to shake hand with me, I don't mind at all.' To a question whether NAM can mediate on Kashmir, the President said, 'Yes NAM can and I will take on any one who wants to mediate I would like it, I would accept it and welcome it.' Another Indian journalist argued, 'but you raise controversial issues at multilateral meetings', the President confidently said, 'Let me ask you the same question, if anyone cannot confront important issues by holding a bilateral meeting with us and take them not serious, what can we do.' A foreign journalist asked as if Pakistan and India have closed the door for dialogue, the President reiterated, 'Well we would like to have dialogue, but you can't clap with one hand.' Why don't you stop dehshatgardi in Kashmir, asked another Indian journalist. President Musharraf said, 'No it is not deshatgardi, it is the indigenous struggle of Kashmiris themselves and because India has denied them their right of self-determination. It should not be called terrorism.' Replying to the request of a journalist to spare some time for Pakistani media, the President said, 'I am here tomorrow as well and we will hold a meeting with Pakistan's mediamen.' The veteran jurist and advisor, Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada, Secretary Foreign Affairs Riaz Khokhar, Additional Secretary Foreign Affairs Tariq Haider, Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan Mrs Shireen Moiz, Press officer Shah Zaman and other members of President's entourage kept waiting outside the Bernama mini-studio, the venue of the interview.


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