'India, Pak Have Unique Opportunity To Resolve Kashmir Issue'
24 January 2006
Washington DC: Observing that improved Indo-Pak relations and the congenial international environment provide a 'unique opportunity' for the two nations to work for a solution of the Kashmir issue, Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has said all sides should demonstrate flexibility and passion to resolve the problem. Aziz said in his address to the conservative Heritage Foundation last evening that the Kashmir issue 'remained at the heart of the tensions' with India. 'For us this is not just an issue of territory, but of principle-the democratic principle of self determination which is the inalienable right of the Kashmiri people', he said. 'The improved relations between Pakistan and India and the congenial international environment provide a unique opportunity for our two countries to work for a solution of the Kashmir dispute that respects the aspirations of the Kashmiri people', Aziz said. Emphasising that the Kashmiri people would have to be involved in the dialogue process, he said Pakistan had suggested ways of self governance and de-militarisation that 'resonate' with the views of the Kashimiri leaders and intellectuals. The Pakistan Prime Minister said the attainment of a final settlement would require a solution that is acceptable to Pakistan, India and the Kashmiris and for this to happen all sides would have to demonstrate 'courage, sincerity, flexibility and above all passion'.