Saturday, 21 May 2011

Did Qureshi change stand on Kashmir issue?

Did Qureshi change stand on Kashmir issue?
21 May 2011, 1003 hrs IST, AGENCIES
A fresh WikiLeaks cables has revealed that former Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told US Assistant Secretary of State Richard A Boucher that India-Pakistan relations could not be held hostage to the issue of Kashmir alone.

According to the fresh cables dated April 8, 2008 , Qureshi said there was a large constituency that believe in moving forward, but they were not particularly vocal. He said, "We must respect concerns of Kashmiris but we cannot be held hostage to one issue."

The Pakistan military and successive political establishments have consistently argued that Kashmir is the core issue between India and Pakistan, and that without a resolution of the dispute there can be no meaningful progress in ties.

After a few months in office, Qureshi too was calling Kashmir a ‘core issue.' However, in an April 2008 interaction with Boucher, Qureshi maintained that while Pakistan should respect the concerns of the Kashmiris, its relations with India could not be held ‘hostage' to one issue.

Meanwhile, sources in the government said that Pakistan has never changed its stand on Kashmir. The government sources said that for more than a decade, Pakistan never said Kashmir is not a core issue.

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