World Pressure Must For Kashmir Settlement: Kashmiri Analyst
25 September 2004
Islamabad: A Kashmiri analyst on Saturday said that increased international pressure on India and Pakistan was vital to clearing the way for a settlement of the Kashmir issue. The executive director of the Kashmir Information Centre in Islamabad, Raja Bashir, told IRNA here that without the active involvement of the international community, he did not see any possibility of the Kashmir tangle being resolved. Bashir was commenting on the Friday meeting between Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New York. He was of the view that peace in South Asia would remain hostage to the Kashmir issue as long as the world community showed little or no interest in a just solution. Bashir alleged that New Delhi was least interested in settlement of the Kashmir issue, and 'instead it engaged Islamabad in dialogue to muster up support for its quest for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council.' Both countries have fought three wars, two of them on the Kashmir issue, a disputed piece of land one part of which is under Pakistan's control and the other under India's. The Kashmir question has been the main hurdle in the way of efforts to normalize relations between the two countries since they became independent in 1947. Islamabad and New Delhi resumed talks toward a comprehensive peace agreement in February this year following the meeting between President Musharraf and then premier Atal Behari Vajpayee on January 6 in Islamabad.