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Zardari for 'peaceful' resolution to the Kashmir issue

By Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
June 08, 2009 20:26 IST
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Violence and militancy were no solution to "political problems," Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari said on Monday, as he sought an "honourable, equitable and peaceful resolution" of the Kashmir issue.

During a meeting in Islamabad with Washington-based Kashmir Centre executive director Ghulam Nabi Fai, Zardari said Pakistan wants an "honourable, equitable and peaceful resolution" of the Kashmir issue in line with the wishes of the Kashmiris.

Zardari said, "The merchants of war everywhere promoted violence as a means of settling political disputes but this had to be resisted through recourse to peaceful, indigenous political movements."

The opening of trade across the Line of Control in Kashmir would bring the Kashmiri people close together and "increase the incentives for a peaceful political resolution of the dispute," he told Fai.

Zardari appreciated the efforts of the Kashmir Centre in highlighting the Kashmir issue internationally.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said the restoration of the composite dialogue with India is imperative for achieving lasting and durable peace in the region to enable Pakistan to fully focus on combating extremism and terrorism.

"Saner elements" in India understand that Pakistan's eastern borders must be made peaceful to allow the country to fully concentrate on its western borders, he told a news channel.

Pakistan and India must sit at the negotiating table and resolve bilateral issues, he said. Both countries are facing a combined problem of terrorism and should cooperate in exterminating the menace from the region, he said.

Normalisation of bilateral relations is imperative for achieving this goal, Qureshi said.

He urged India to avoid imposing any conditions for resuming the composite dialogue, pointing out that Pakistan is itself a victim of terrorism and had condemned terrorist attacks in India.

India put its peace process with Pakistan on hold in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks, which it blamed on Pakistan-based elements, including the outlawed Lashker-e-Tayiba. It has linked the resumption of the dialogue to Pakistan taking action against the perpetrators of the attacks.

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Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
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