February 2007 News

Believers of violence can't be taken on board: Musharraf

2 February 2007
The Daily Excelsior

Rawalpindi: Sending out a strong message to militants, President Pervez Musharraf today said those who believe in violence as the only option to resolve the Kashmir issue cannot be taken on board and both India and Pakistan needed to be steadfast against 'all obstacles.' Addressing a press conference in this Garrison town, the General made it clear that 'all shades of Kashmiris' should be taken on board except those who believe that militancy is the only option to resolve the issue. 'We cannot take people on board who believe in confrontation and who think that only militancy solves the problem. They cannot be taken on board, they will remain opposed to whatever we do. 'They will create all obstacles and we have to be steadfast against all that they do,' Musharraf said, as he dwelt on the Indo- Pak peace process and expressed satisfaction over its progress. 'There will be obstacles and we have to be steadfast against all that they (militants) do,' he said adding 'that is why I say we should be bold enough.' needed to be steadfast against 'all obstacles.' Addressing a press conference in this garrison town, the General made it clear that 'all shades of Kashmiris' should be taken on board except those who believe that militancy is the only option to resolve the issue. 'We cannot take people on board who believe in confrontation and who think that only militancy solves the problem. They cannot be taken on board, they will remain opposed to whatever we do. 'They will create all obstacles and we have to be steadfast against all that they do,' Musharraf said, as he dwelt on the Indo- Pak peace process and expressed satisfaction over its progress. 'There will be obstacles and we have to be steadfast against all that they (militants) do,' he said adding 'that is why I say we should bold enough.' Musharraf said the Confidence Building Measures were progressing well and that he was 'fairly optimistic' that the two countries would be able to move forward to resolve all outstanding issues, including Kashmir. 'Our relations have never been this good before in our history, and we ought to be happy about that,' he said adding 'we are very glad the people of Pakistan and India want peace. This is another good sign.' The President said decision-makers on both sides 'have realised that military (action) is no longer an option by any one of us. 'Pakistan cannot be coerced militarily. The only way forward is resolution of all disputes,' Musharraf said. 'Iím fairly optimistic that we will be able to move forward to a resolution of all disputes,' Referring to the suicide bombing attack at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad on Jan 26, hours before the Indian Republic Day reception was scheduled to be held there, Musharraf said 'there is no problem... Things happen. But we still have to remain steadfast.' He said 'there is no breakthrough in investigations related to the Jan 26 blast,' and he is not aware of any details of the probe. Musharraf asserted that India and Pakistan should be bold enough not to get swayed by bomb blasts. Musharraf extended his full support to the moderate Hurriyat faction led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq who recently visited Pakistan and held talks with him. The President said Farooq addressed a 'big gathering' in Srinagar on his return but at the same time there was no agreement over who should represent the opinion of Kashmiris. 'We have to identify who are the Kashmiris. We obviously think it is All Parties Hurriyat Conference which is Kashmiris. Is every one agreeing that they (APHC) are the sole voice of Kashmir,' he asked. 'These are very sensitive issues. We need to take all Kashmiris on board, all shades of thought, may be leaving a fraction which is on confrontationist course,' he said. He also said he would take the nation into confidence over Kashmir solution when the two countries reached a settlement. A premature disclosure of details of talks with India would harm the peace process, he said adding 'there are opposing views. When you reach a decision on resolution of dispute you will certainly be annoying one or the other group.' 'But as long as it is in the interest of vast majority, you have to be bold enough to decisions to resolve disputes on both sides, that is what we are trying,' he said. 'We have to wait for right moment to take people into confidence. Broadly, if at all we are moving towards a solution on broad parameter, people will be informed at the right time,' Musharraf said. 'We do not want to slide back in the process,' Musharraf said adding that he would take Pakistani people, opposition and other decision makers into confidence when a stage of settlement is reached. 'I can assure you we will not give a bomb shell in the morning that we have signed a deal and here it is. This will not happen,' he said. Musharraf also refuted criticism that he focussed more on Middle East and Afghanistan and ignored Kashmir. 'We are doing many things. Middle East what Pakistan wants to resolve has direct impact on us,' he said adding that Al-Qaeda and Taliban are the fallout of Palestine dispute. Describing Palestine dispute as a 'core issue,' he said its resolution will have positive effects in the region, area and Pakistan.

 

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