|SLUG: 2-270108 Pakistan - India (L)||DATE:||NOTE NUMBER:|
TITLE=Pakistan India (L)
INTRO: Pakistan's military leader General Pervez Musharraf is urging Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to respond to his country's
offer of tripartite (three party) talks on the Kashmir dispute. The Pakistani leader's comments are the latest in a series of exchanges that began with India's announcement of a month-long cease-fire against separatist groups in the troubled Kashmir region. From Islamabad, Ayaz Gul reports.
TEXT: General Musharraf says he is disappointed over the rejection of his offer by an Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman. The Pakistani leader says the recent moves in Kashmir have again opened the window of opportunity on
resolving the long-standing dispute over Kashmir.
//Begin Musharraf act.//
I think the whole issue is not yet closed on this offer. The doors are still not fully closed I would say. We are still waiting for a more
positive response from higher quarters and I expect the Indian Prime Minister (Atal Behari Vajpayee) to decide on this offer. Otherwise,
obviously, I will presume that the ball is entirely in their court.
//End Musharraf act.//
General Musharraf says India will be responsible for what he calls "frustrating his peace initiative" to settle the 53 year old Kashmir
Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee has declared a unilateral ceasefire in Kashmir during the Islamic month of Ramadan.
Pakistan responded by ordering its troops to exercise "maximum restraint" at the disputed border in Kashmir. It also proposed talks between New Delhi, Islamabad and the separatist Kashmiri groups to resolve the issue. But an Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman on Tuesday rejected the offer, saying there is no role for Pakistan in such talks unless it stops the alleged cross-border terrorism. Pakistan has said it provides only moral support to the separatist groups in Kashmir and has no control of their movements outside Pakistan.
India and Pakistan have fought two wars over the region since 1947. Their military forces continue to confront each other along the "Line of Control" (ceasefire line) dividing Kashmir between the two countries. (SIGNED)