Kashmir issue 'root cause which spawns war', needs to be resolved: Pervez Musharraf

Pervez Musharraf

Underlining that there is a need to "bury the hatchet", former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on Saturday said the Kashmir issue, the "root cause which spawns war", needs to be resolved.

He claimed that the Pakistan Army was fully backing the peace initiative with India and stressed that all issues have to be dealt with at the same time rather than follow a "step-by-step" process.

"We need to resolve the long-standing disputes between India and Pakistan because these are the causes of hatred, causes of conflict and the wars...

"We have to resolve this (Kashmir issue). This is actually the root cause which spawns not only the war or conflict but which spawns Mujahideens and religious militancy in Pakistan," Musharraf said at an event.

He said the issues need to resolved for the socio-economic development of the people.

"It is high time we open our eyes to reality," he said, adding that both India and Pakistan need to take cue from Europe.

"We need to bury the hatchet," the former military ruler, who is now in exile said.

Musharraf spoke about his four-point formula for resolving the Kashmir issue, a matter he said was discussed with former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

His formula included gradual demilitarisation along the Line of Control, giving maximum self governance to the two halves of Kashmir, making LoC irrelevant by opening as many routes along the border as possible and working on an over-watch mechanism.

Musharraf said he had invited Manmohan Singh to visit Pakistan in 2007 but had said that the trip would be "meaningless" if any pacts are not signed. "Unfortunately he didn't."

However, Musharraf stressed that he did not "feel let down" by Manmohan Singh as he had "the highest esteem for him".

The former President also said that India, should be magnanimous and generous and take the initiative for a paradigm shift for a way forward in uniting South Asia.

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