January 2004 News

Benazir's remarks tarnish Pakistan's image: Rashid

14 January 2004
The Daily Times

ISLAMABAD: The latest remarks from former prime minister Benazir Bhutto during her recent visit to India were designed to malign the country and tarnish the image of Pakistan in the comity of nations, said Information and Broadcasting Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Wednesday.During her visit, Ms Bhutto said that Pakistan was heading towards instability and facing the spectre of becoming a failed state.Mr Ahmed said the concept recommended by Ms Bhutto of 'shared sovereignty' over Kashmir, concerning the Line of Control (LoC) becoming an International border and postponing the status of the territory for later, was a sheer deflection from Pakistan's stance on the issue and was to invite negative propaganda.Lambasting the statement made by Ms Bhutto that Pakistan helped increase the violence in Kashmir, Mr Ahmed said the dismal picture of Pakistan presented by her was a clever attempt to please her Indian hosts and influence international opinion by remaining close to the Indian viewpoint on so-called cross border terrorism and Kashmir.Mr Ahmed said the freedom struggle continuing in Kashmir was an indigenous movement and had nothing to do with Pakistan.Pakistan considers Kashmir a dispute between Pakistan and India and seeks its settlement according to the wishes of the Kashmiris who are making great sacrifices for their freedom, he said. He said the joint declaration issued by both Pakistan and India on the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation summit is an attempt to resolve issues between the countries. -APP


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