News

Pakistan for settlement of all outstanding issues with India : CE Gen. Musharraf

ASSOCIATED PRESS OF PAKISTAN NEWS SUMMARY (02-11-1999)

ISLAMABAD, Nov 2 (APP): Chief Executive Gen. Pervez Musharraf said on Nov. 01 Pakistan would like to resolve the core issue of Kashmir with India but respond to," hostility with hostility." "With India, we would like to resolve all outstanding ," issues including ,"the core issue of Kashmir for the benefit of South Asia," he told his maiden press conference lasting for one hour and thirty minutes at PTV Headquarters here On Nov. 01. He said the Kashmir issue has to be addressed first if not simultaneously alongwith with other issues. "If that is the attitude from across the border I will go far ahead," than them to improve relations with India, said Gen. Musharraf who is also Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and Army Chief. When asked if Pakistan would respond to Indian aggressive actions, he said ," hostility will be met with hostility. Peace will be met by peace."

To another question, he said Pakistan would follow the policy of maintaining minimum deterrence as it was required. He said Pakistan would maintain deterrence in both "conventional and non-conventional fields." To a question, he said, there would not be any change in Pakistan's foreign policy as ," we believe in the principle of co-existence."

The Chief Executive when asked on signing the Comprehensive Test ban Treaty (CTBT), said " Pakistan would adhere to its commitments to the international community. "We understand the international concern," on the issue, he said. However, he said, "We have an open mind on it," and a national debate would be started on the issue for developing a consensus. The CTBT is a ," contentious issue," and ," we will like to solve it in accordance with the desires of the people," said Gen. Musharraf.

But right now the present Government has to deal with a sea of other problems therefore it would not like to get involved into such contentious issues, he added. Responding to a question on his 3-day visit to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, he said," it has two aims." One purpose was to explain to the friendly countries the compelling circumstances that led to the change on Oct. 12 and the other was to seek their support.

This visit was also to perform umra," to bow my head to seek guidance," from Allah Almighty to realize the objective spelled out by the present Government. To a question, Gen. Musharraf said, he did not discuss Afghanistan with the leadership of Saudi Arabia and UAE. However, he said , Pakistan would like that there was a broad-based Government in Afghanistan as it believed in the peaceful solution of the crisis. But the realities on the ground must be kept in mind while seeking a solution of the Afghan crisis. To a question, on Osama bin Laden , he said, Pakistan was not involved in any way for facilitating his extradition. However, there is an international demand concerning Osama Bin Laden. Pakistan, he said, was dealing with Taliban diplomatically.