KUN0070 4 GEN 0382 KUWAIT /KUNA-KAJ3
Pakistan says it never claimed Indian-occupied Kashmir as integral part
ISLAMABAD, Dec 11 (KUNA) - In a significant shift in its stance over the
core Kashmir dispute with archrival India, Pakistan Monday said that it never
claimed Kashmir to be its integral part and that Kashmir will become part of
Pakistan is the slogan of Kashmiris not Pakistanis.
"First of all Pakistan does not claim Kashmir. Kashmir dispute is about
aspirations of Kashmiris," Foreign Office spokesperson Tasleem Aslam said at
her weekly press briefing here.
"Pakistan never claimed Kashmir to be integral part of Pakistan. What we
said is Kashmiris should be able to decide their future. We hope they would
opt for Pakistan. This is what they have been saying", she said.
Further clarifying her statement, she said that Islamabad has not given up
its position on Kashmir and stands by the resolutions passed by the UN
Security Council to resolve the issue according to the aspirations of Kashmiri
President General Pervez Musharraf in his interview with Indian NDTV said
that Pakistan is ready to give up its claim over Kashmir if India
The spokesperson said President Pervez Musharraf in his interview has
talked about flexibility on both sides to reach a final settlement for the
issue, which is acceptable to all parties including India, Pakistan and above
all the Kashmiris.
Pakistan and India have fought three wars over the Kashmir disputesince
gaining independence from Britain in 1947.
The ongoing fragile peace process, launched in 2003, has been unableto make
any significant progress owing to the reluctance of the twocountries to budge
from their positions over the Kashmir issue.
Both countries had claimed Kashmir to be their territory. However,Mondays
shift in Islamabads stance may lead to resolution of all outstanding
The shift came after amid willingness by China to cautiously use its card
for resolving the Kashmir dispute.
The Nation newspaper reported that Pakistan and China have initiated vital
talks on possible Chinese role in the resolution of the Kashmir dispute and
India will soon be approached to seek its acceptance for third party
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