‘LoC opening a stimulus for Kashmir settlement’
18 November 2005
Ihtasham ul Haque
Islamabad: UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said on Friday that opening of the Line of Control (LoC) following last month’s earthquake provided Pakistan and India a “historic opportunity” to resolve the Kashmir dispute. “This opening of the LoC is a first step and will be seen as an important confidence building measure (CBM) between leaders of the two countries to further discuss and resolve the Kashmir dispute,” he told a press conference after his meetings with President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. Mr Annan recalled that last year’s tsunami disaster had helped remove bitterness between the Indonesian government and separatist elements in Aceh province. “And now the international community would like to see that kind of understanding and goodwill between India and Pakistan to remove their differences over Kashmir”. The UN and other international players, Mr Annan said, have already started seeing “some good movements” between the leadership of India and Pakistan for peacefully settling their dispute. Four of the points, he said, had been opened on the LoC and a fifth one would shortly be opened and all this was a step forward in resolving the Kashmir issue, he said. The two governments, he said, have reached a positive understanding to open up few points to help people. “Both the leaders of India and Pakistan must strive hard to come to terms after having received such a historic opportunity”.