Hope Ceasefire Leads to Peace Talks Between India-Pakistan: Pervez Musharraf
Pervez Musharraf says the Pakistan army does enough to stop infiltration and the mountainous terrain along the border makes it further difficult for them to carry on the job and that the restoration of ceasefire might ultimately lead to peace talks between India and Pakistan.
In conversation with CNN-News18’s Zakka Jacob, Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf says the Pakistan army does enough to stop infiltration and the mountainous terrain along the border makes it further difficult for them to carry on the job and that the restoration of ceasefire might ultimately lead to peace talks between India and Pakistan.
Q: So India and Pakistan at the DGMO level is announcing a ceasefire, sticking to the letter and the spirit of the 2003 ceasefire. If you look at the statements that have been released it is clear that a) this is a temporary measure perhaps for Ramzan and b) that the request came from the Pakistani side. Your reactions?
A: Well, I think both sides have probably had enough. We are killing civilians and causing misery to them. It is what we can go on doing if there is no ceasefire. So I take it in a very positive way. It's a very good measure but as you said if it is only for Ramzan then it is bad. It should be permanent and I think to make it permanent, it has to go up and be approved by the chiefs (of the Armies) and the governments.
Q: Do you believe a measure like this could have happened at the DGMO's level or do you think it is a political call communicated to the DGMOs for implementation?
A: Yes, both are possibilities. The DGMOs could have agreed on the hotline that we should not fire at each other. They are not juniors but the ones who are in the direct contact with the chiefs of the general staff and the Army. So, I can't imagine that anything that they do is not known to the Army chief.
Q: The Government of India has made it clear that the ceasefire in no way would mean that anti- infiltration operations would not be undertaken if there’s an infiltration attempt.
A: No comments on this but I know that the government or the Army are not involved in the infiltration or with these people who volunteer to go in. How the army seals or chokes the high mountainous border, even that is very difficult. So therefore, you get into the nitty-gritties of how this ceasefire will be cemented. I think the issue will be covered.
Q: The Government of India is also making it clear that it would be a mistake to imagine that this is the start of any of a peace process and that it is only a temporary measure.
A: I am never a pessimist. I take an optimistic view of things. If someone is so pessimistic even before things have started, obviously we are not going to move forward. Let us make the best use of this and get all the positive advantages of it and then taking it ahead for the peace talks too. I mean why it can’t be done, after all the people are involved, the government is involved, the army is involved. Everyone should be on board to finally enter into peace talks.
Q: Would peace talks at this juncture make any sense when a caretaker government in Pakistan is functioning ahead of the elections on July 25. Wouldn’t it make sense to wait till the elections are done?
A: Yes, I'll agree. Let's have a permanent position here.
Q: Do you believe that part of the reason why Pakistan agreed to the ceasefire now is because of the last thing the army wants in the middle of the action process is a hotline active line of control on border.
A: I don’t think that anything happening on the border disturbs activity within Pakistan. There is lot of that you imply alright but I don’t think it is going to disturb the political process as such. However, the best optimum is that there should be a quiet Line of Control and peace within Pakistan so that the elections are held peacefully. That is the best but if something is happening, I don’t think it's going to cause much irritation or disturbance.
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