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Musharraf asks India to allow visit of Kashmiri leaders.

ISLAMABAD, Feb. 5 Kyodo

Pakistan's military ruler Gen. Pervez Musharraf on Monday asked India to ''show sincerity'' in solving the Kashmir issue by allowing a delegation of Kashmiri leaders from the All Parties Hurriat Conference (APHC) to visit Pakistan.

Addressing a Kashmir Solidarity Day ceremony in the Pakistan-controlled part of Kashmir, which it calls ''Azad (Free) Kashmir,'' Musharraf asked the Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to show ''statesmanship and step forward'' to resolve the Kashmir issue.

Musharraf said the people of Kashmir and the Pakistan government would meet him the Indian leader ''halfway''.

He said that he would request India to allow the APHC delegation to visit Pakistan for consultations with Azad Kashmir officials and Pakistan government for talks about a political settlement of the Kashmir issue.

Pakistan administers one-third of Kashmir, and the rest is under Indian control.

''Let the APHC leaders visit Pakistan. Let them meet us. I am sure it would be a step forward towards the political settlement of the Kashmir issue,'' he said.

A five-member delegation of the APHC has been planning to visit Pakistan. The visit has been delayed by India's refusal to issue a passport to one of the members.

India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars since independence from Britain in 1947 over Kashmir.
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Publication:Asian Political News
Date:Feb 12, 2001
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