Not prudent to set timeframe, says Natwar
14 April 2005
New Delhi: The External Affairs Minister, K. Natwar Singh, has said that it will not be prudent to set any timeframe for the resolution of the Kashmir issue and that there is no question of taking Islamabad off the hook on cross-border terrorism. 'It would not be prudent to impose a timeframe or deadline for the resolution of the J and K issue, an issue which has defied solution for so long, and which, by all accounts, is complicated,' Mr. Singh said in an interview published in the latest issue of Outlook magazine. Excerpts from the interview were released by the magazine in a press release today, on the eve of the Pakistan President, Pervez Musharraf's visit to India. He said that any discussion with Pakistan on Kashmir must be focussed 'first and foremost on the need to end cross-border terrorism and dismantling the infrastructure of terrorism across the Line of Control.' And, 'there is no question of taking Pakistan off the hook on the issue of cross-border terrorism and terrorism in the Valley.' On numerous occasions, Gen. Musharraf has been underpinning the need for setting a timeframe for resolving the Kashmir issue. Mr. Singh said the Kashmir had defied solution because Pakistan did not pursue discussion on it from 1972 till 1989. 'Pakistani leaders themselves, from time to time, argued for easier issues to be resolved first, and the more intractable ones later.'