Pakistan’s former President and military dictator Pervez Musharraf has voiced hope that “better sense will prevail” in the BJP government and it will eventually resume talks with Pakistan despite the current anti-Pakistani and religious intolerance in India.
“I know eventually better sense will prevail in the BJP government as well. We have dealt with both Congress and BJP governments and the only way forward is to have constant dialogues to resolve outstanding issues,” he said.
Musharraf was speaking at the launch of the book ‘Neither a Hawk nor a Dove’ by former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri here yesterday.
With former Indian petroleum minister Mani Shankar Aiyar and Observer Research Foundation (ORF) Chairman Sudheendra Kulkarni – who was sprayed with black paint by Shiv Sainiks for organising Kasuri’s book launch in Mumbai last month – in attendance, Musharraf said Indo-Pak relations were good during his tenure and many disputes were close to resolution.
He added that Sir Creek was demarcated by both navies and the lines to be drawn in the Siachen were ready.
“I regret that we were so close yet so far,” Musharraf said while responding to a question.
He said that while he was President, there were four frameworks on which India and Pakistan had nearly reached consensus on Kashmir issue.
It included gradually decreasing military presence in Kashmir, ensuring self-governance in the region, forming an overseeing body for Kashmir, and making the Line of Control (LoC) irrelevant by opening out six routes for the movement of the people.
Musharraf added that long festering disputes between the two countries can only be resolved through talks.
He also praised former Indian premiers Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh for being “sincere about peace”.
However, while referring to 1999s Kargil war, the former general said that “it was a military victory converted into a political defeat”.
He also said that Kasuri’s book “clarified the misconceptions” that the Pakistan Army was opposed to peace with India.
“The army is for peace with India, but with honour, dignity and sovereign equality,” he added.