India, Pakistan Had Almost Agreed on a Kashmir Solution: Musharraf

London, Oct 1O (IANS): India and Pakistan had almost reached an agreement on Kashmir issue, said Pakistan's former president Pervez Musharraf, and tried to clarify his earlier remarks on training militants by stressing many "motivated" outfits had existed before he came to power.

"We were as close as drafting the final agreement," Musharraf said, referring to a four-point formula floated by him in December 2006, which included phased demilitarisation of Jammu and Kashmir, maximum self-governance, joint supervision by India and Pakistan and softening of the Line of Control (LoC).

Speaking to NDTV in London, the former military ruler said the draft of the resolution was also shared and discussed between both sides "through back channel".

"We were drafting and in fact on the other two issues (Siachen and Sir Creek) we could have signed any day," he said. "We carried out the joint survey by the two navies of the Sir Creek area and we know exactly the disputed area in the land and in the sea."

The former president, who came to power by overthrowing the civilian government of the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif in a bloodless coup in 1999, also sought to clarify his earlier statement in which he had admitted that Pakistani army was involved in training militants and sending them across the border.

Musharraf said due to prevalence of anti-India sentiment, people "themselves" are "motivated" and "indoctrinated" to cross the border "because there are gaps and it's a porous border".

"They don't need training. They themselves want to go. They want to learn and want to go," he said, arguing terrorist outfits such as Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT), Hizbul Mujahideen and Jaish-e-Mohammed existed much before he came to power.

"Great public support, great public sympathy among the people of Pakistan gave rise to all of them," he said, adding, "everyone individual in Pakistan knew that people are volunteering to go and they are going into Kashmir to fight the Indian Army."

In an interview to German magazine Der Spiegel earlier this week, Musharraf had said that militant groups "were indeed formed" to fight India in Kashmir. And "the government turned a blind eye because they wanted India to discuss Kashmir".


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Title: India, Pakistan Had Almost Agreed on a Kashmir Solution: Musharraf

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