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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 March, 2005, 15:45 GMT
Musharraf urges Kashmir solution
Pervez Musharraf
President Musharraf says momentum for peace could be lost
Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf says the peace process with India could be derailed if no progress is made on the disputed region of Kashmir.

Gen Musharraf said a series of recent initiatives taken by the two countries will lose their impact if the Kashmir issue was not resolved.

The South Asian rivals have been holding talks since last January on a range of issues, including Kashmir.

The two countries have gone to war twice over Kashmir.

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Speaking at a military parade to mark Pakistan's national day, Gen Musharraf said: "If progress is not made on the resolution of the real problems, the confidence building measures will lose their impact."

We are totally with the Kashmiris in their struggle
Pervez Musharraf

"We want peace and we want to resolve problems through negotiations but we will never accept any pressure," he was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.

Gen Musharraf said the two countries have to "find options" for a solution to the Kashmir dispute "which are acceptable to India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir".

Support for separatists

Gen Musharraf also said that Pakistan will continue its "moral, diplomatic and political" support for Muslim separatists in Indian-administered Kashmir.

"We are totally with the Kashmiris in their struggle."

"Our moral, diplomatic and political help will always continue in their struggle until they succeed in their great objective. Our sincere prayers are with them."

The Afghan president Hamid Karzai was a guest of honour at the military parade.

Hamid Karzai (middle) was the guest of honour
Mr Karzai is on a two-day visit to Pakistan to hold talks on several issues, including tourism and transport between the two countries.

Last year Gen Musharraf called for a radical new approach to the dispute with India over Kashmir, suggesting joint rule as one option.

He suggested options like a re-division of the region and greater involvement of the UN.

That was turned down by India's Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh.

But the two sides have recently unveiled a series of steps as part of the peace process.

A landmark bus route between the Indian- and Pakistani-administered portions of Kashmir will be launched in April.

Gen Musharraf is also due to visit India next month to watch the cricket series between India and Pakistan.




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