US welcomes Musharraf's Kashmir proposal
18 December 2003
WASHINGTON: The United States said on Thursday that it welcomes President Pervez Musharraf's proposal for giving up the demand for referendum in Kashmir was a 'constructive' development. 'We think it is constructive to relinquish the demand for a referendum on the status of Kashmir,' State Department spokesman Richard Boucher told a briefing in Washington. Mr Boucher noted that President Musharraf made this proposal in an interview to an international news agency in Islamabad earlier on Saturday, and said the report appeared to be accurate. 'The United States welcomes the proposal by President Musharraf (as) it has been reported in the press.' 'We think it is constructive to relinquish the demand for a referendum on the status of Kashmir, if those reports prove to be accurate (and) it seems they are,' he added. Mr Boucher said that confidence-building measures, such as those recently adopted by both sides, can move India and Pakistan towards establishing more normal relations and build the momentum for peace. 'We are pleased by recent steps both countries have taken. We also look forward to a productive SAARC summit in Islamabad in early January.'