January 2004 News

Panels to study different options on Kashmir: Rashid

15 January 2004
The News International

SUKKUR-LARKANA: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Thursday said that there were so many options on Kashmir on which different committees would start working after February. Addressing separate press conferences in Sukkur and Larkana, Rashid was quite optimistic about a peaceful solution to the Kashmir issue. 'For the composite dialogue with India scheduled in February, several committees would be formed,' he added. Rashid called upon India to take more concrete steps for permanent peace and end human rights violations in the held territory. 'More confidence-building measures are needed to be taken by India, including immediate halt to human rights violations in occupied Kashmir,' he said, adding: 'Concrete steps are needed to restore permanent peace between India and Pakistan, as resumption of road, rail and air links is not enough.' Responding to a question about involvement of Kashmiris in the talks, the minister said, when the two countries would reach near a solution, Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) would be taken into confidence. When asked what would be the future scenario in case of a probable change in Indian leadership after general elections there, the minister said agreements take place between two governments and not between individuals. 'Therefore, it was hoped that the peace process initiated between the two countries would not be affected at all,' he observed. Rashid said Pakistan wants pleasant relations with India. He added Pakistan had thousands of capable scientists who can answer India's small 'Tirshol' missiles. About opening of Khokhropar border, the minister said the issue would be discussed in the forthcoming meeting of Indo-Pak leaders to be held in February.


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