Win-win Settlement Possible: Envoy
9 February 2004
Washington DC: Pakistan's envoy to the United States Ashraf Jehangir Qazi told a seminar at Georgetown University on Sunday that 'a win-win settlement' of the Kashmir issue was possible. 'I believe there is a case for optimism, case for some hope that India will enter into a settlement that results into a win-win solution,' he said. He was responding to a question at a largely-attended seminar and question- answer session held in the auditorium of Georgetown University, on 'Reflections on Kashmir' at which he was the chief guest. Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, Executive Director of the Kashmiri-American Council (KAC) was the keynote speaker. About flexibility, he said it could not be one-sided. The commitment of the leadership from Pakistan and India to resolve all issues, including Kashmir through peaceful means, was a positive sign. It is a shared principle that outcome has to be acceptable to the parties, he stated. He was asked that talks have been held during the past, and what is the guarantee that this time these would prove successful. The American assurances of continued engagement are a source of encouragement, he added. On the sidelines of the SAARC Summit in Islamabad both the countries resolved to undertake dialogue process to peacefully resolve all the pending issues, including Kashmir. Qazi said four years ago, Prime Minister Vajpayee spoke of 'insaniat' in resolving the pending issues, 'and we look forward to a principled outcome.' Earlier, in his address, Ambassador Qazi observed that terrorism and the freedom struggle are two distinct things, and these could not be equated. He said there are pending United Nations resolutions pledging grant of right to self-determination to the people of Kashmir. 'A win-win situation is possible. It is a matter of over half a century- it can take time, but cannot be ignored.' 'It is not a territorial dispute, it is a matter of right to self-determination and human rights of a whole people.'