Musharraf rules out secret deal on Kashmir
8 January 2004
NNI - Pakistan News - Main Stories
ISLAMABAD: President General Pervez Musharraf assured Kashmiri leaders on Thursday that there would be no secret deal on Kashmir and that there is no solution under consideration which is contrary to the aspirations of Kashmiris. 'Kashmir problem would be resolved in accordance with the wishes of Kashmiris,' President Musharraf was quoted as telling the Kashmiri leaders in a meeting here. President Musharraf had invited Kashmiri leaders from both the sides of Line of Control to brief them about his this week talks with Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. President Musharraf and Prime Minister Vajpayee had agreed to continue composite dialogue on host of issues including the question of Jammu and Kashmir in February. 'Kashmiri leaders backed General Musharraf stand on Kashmir and were satisfied over the outcome of with their discussion with the President,' former Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan told reporters after the meeting. 'General Musharraf assured us that Kashmir issue would be resolved according to the wishes of the people of Kashmir,' Qayyum said. He said President Musharraf was of the view that for the first time India has agreed on composite dialogue. General Musharraf said that he would take Kashmiri leadership into confidence while taking any decision about Kashmir. Sardar Qayyum gave credit to President Musharraf and Prime Minister Vajpayee for successful SAARC summit and the Kashmiri leaders congratulated General Musharraf. The Kashmiri leader said that the SAARC summit has paved the way for further progress in improvement of relations between the two countries. He urged the Kashmiri leaders to set aside their differences at this critical juncture. Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said that Kashmiris on both sides of Line of Control should welcome the joint statement issued after the meeting between President Musharraf and Prime Minister Vajpayee. He said that President Musharraf wished interaction between the people of Kashmir on both side of the LoC. President Musharraf said that the Islamabad declaration would be sincerely implemented. 'The 55-year old Kashmir issue could be resolved if sincerely is demonstrated,' the Information Minister quoted the President as telling the Kashmiri leaders. He said President Musharraf highlighted the centrality of the Kashmir issue and said the solution of this issue could have positive impact on all other problems. He said the Kashmiri leaders reposed confidence in the leadership of President Musharraf and extended their felicitation to the President over the successful Islamabad declaration. The meeting was attended besides others by the AJK President Sardar Mohammad Anwar Khan, Prime Minister Sikandar Hayat Khan, Opposition Leader in AJK Legislative Assembly Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry, former AJK Prime Minister Sardar Mohammad Abdul Qayyum and political leaders of Azad Kashmir as well as the Pakistan-based Hurriyat Conference leaders.