ISLAMABAD (TIP): Kashmir is a flashpoint that can trigger a fourth war between Pakistan and India anytime, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said, seeking an early settlement of the issue. He also said he had a dream of seeing Indian Kashmir free and hoped to see it happen during his lifetime. “Kashmir is a flashpoint and can trigger a fourth war between the two nuclear powers at anytime,” he was quoted as saying by the Dawn daily in his brief address to the budget session of the ‘Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Council’ in Pak-occupied Kashmir yesterday.
The press release issued by his office last night did not carry the above statement. The statement had however quoted Sharif as saying that the Kashmir issue should be settled according to the aspirations of the people and the UN resolutions as peace in the region was not possible without it. “The Prime Minister said that he had a dream of seeing held-Kashmir free from the Indian occupation and desired that this dream could turn into reality during his lifetime,” the statement said.
About Indo-Pak relations, the Prime Minister categorically reiterated that it was India which indulged in the arms race, it said. “We were drawn into arms race by India,” he said. “If we had a choice, we could have diverted these expenditures to the social sector uplift and eradication of poverty,” he emphasised. Sharif also expressed his satisfaction over the improvement of situation on the Line of Control (LoC).