Pakistan for `paradigm shift` to resolve Kashmir: Kasuri

Allaying fears that it is scaling down its stand to reach an agreement on the Kashmir issue, Pakistan today said there was no deviation in its policy and it was serious about a "paradigm shift" in its relations with India to reach an "honourable" settlement.

Islamabad, Dec 14: Allaying fears that it is
scaling down its stand to reach an agreement on the Kashmir
issue, Pakistan today said there was no deviation in its
policy and it was serious about a "paradigm shift" in its
relations with India to reach an "honourable" settlement.

"My message to the people of (South Asia) is that
Pakistan is very serious about bringing a paradigm shift (in
its ties with India)," Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood
Kasuri said in an interview to PTV.

He refuted criticism that there had been a deviation
in Pakistan’s Kashmir policy.

"Definitely no deviation (on Kashmir). Why are we
making proposals, we want to change the status quo. The party
wanting to change the status quo has to make greater exertions.
Indians perhaps would be happy with status quo," he said,
defending President Pervez Musharrafs proposals to resolve
the Kashmir dispute.

Answering a question on whether Pakistan alone was
making proposals and India has not conceded anything, he said:
"If it (India) does not budge an inch, we wont budge an inch.
What have we given? nothing.

"We will only make a compromise if there is reciprocal
flexibility shown by India. That should not deter us from
making proposals, because we are the power interested in
changing the status quo."

Kasuri's comments came after hardline religious
parties accused the government of making a U-turn on the
Kashmir issue in the wake of the foreign office spokesperson's
statement on Monday that Pakistan had never claimed Kashmir as
an integral part of its territory.

Bureau Report

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