[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Saturday, 16 April, 2005, 22:38 GMT 23:38 UK
Musharraf in India on key visit
Musharraf and wife Sehba in Delhi
Musharraf, with wife Sehba in Delhi, brought a "message of peace"
Pakistan and India have spoken of the need to resolve the issues that divide them at the start of a trip to India by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said they needed to find an enduring solution to all problems, including the disputed territory of Kashmir.

However, he said that in order to sustain dialogue, both countries must fight terrorism in the region.

President Musharraf called for a substantive dialogue on all issues.

Speaking at a banquet hosted by Mr Singh in the capital, Delhi, President Musharraf said: "People's wishes and aspirations have overtaken their leaders' and their governments'.

"Therefore, I think the [peace] process is irreversible."


However, he said that if disputes such as Kashmir were brushed under the carpet, there could be no guarantee of peace in the future.

At the dinner, Mr Singh said: "The political leadership in both our countries has a solemn obligation to work in concert to realise this noble vision.

"History beckons us to rise to the challenge and grasp the opportunities to create boundless prosperity in our ancient land."

Cricket match

It is President Musharraf's first visit to India since a failed summit in 2001.

The Pakistani leader's visit was planned as an informal trip to watch India and Pakistan play cricket on Sunday in Delhi.

Pervez Musharraf in Ajmer, Rajasthan
Please let our prayer for peace, harmony and amity between Pakistan and India and prosperity of both the countries be answered
President Musharraf,
writing in shrine notebook

The president first flew to the western state of Rajasthan to visit an important Muslim shrine, the Sufi shrine of saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, and later travelled to the capital.

"We have brought a message of peace from Pakistan," the president said.

"I have prayed for peace between India and Pakistan. Development of the countries and people can happen only if there is peace."

The trip follows a year of peace talks, which last week saw the first buses in nearly 60 years cross divided Kashmir.

India has tabled a set of confidence-building measures on Kashmir for the visit, including:

  • New bus links such as the Kargil-Skardu route

  • Allowing divided Kashmiri families to meet at points along the Line of Control that divides the region

  • Allowing pilgrims to visit key temples and mosques in Kashmir

  • Joint promotion of tourism for the region


Security has been heavy in Rajasthan and Delhi.

The BBC's Ayanjit Sen in the capital says more than 5,000 police and security personnel will guard the stadium for Sunday's cricket match.

I hope General Musharraf will carry a message of love and peace from here. The bitterness should end
Israr Mohammad,
Ajmer resident

A no-fly zone will be enforced over the Ferozeshah Kotla stadium as President Musharraf and Mr Singh attend.

Kashmir, which both nations claim in its entirety, remains the biggest problem between the nuclear-capable neighbours.

The BBC's Zaffar Abbas in Islamabad says President Musharraf believes the majority in Pakistan are prepared for some compromise on Kashmir if India is prepared to do the same.

But analysts say there is unlikely to be any further breakthrough during the president's short trip.

President Musharraf heads to the Philippines on Monday.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific