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Musharraf wants root cause of terrorism eliminated

DAWN, Monday 03 June 2002; 21 Rabi-ul-Awwal 1423

DUSHANBE, June 2: President Gen Pervez Musharraf called upon the world community on Sunday to eliminate the root causes of international terrorism without which, he said, the dream of eradicating terrorism would not be fulfilled.

Speaking at a banquet hosted in his honour by the Tajikistan President, Emonali Rahmanov, at the State Guest House here this evening, President Pervez Musharraf said the root causes included outstanding political issues such as Kashmir, Palestine, immense poverty of less-developed countries, illiteracy and gap between rich and poor countries.

The president said the people of Kashmir had been denied the right of self-determination promised to them by India and by the international community.

Thousands of Kashmiris have been ruthlessly killed. This tragedy must end and people of Kashmir should get their basic right of self-determination in accordance with UN resolutions, he said.

Non-resolution of this long outstanding dispute has been a source of serious threat to peace and security. India's massive troop deployment along our border has increased the risk of war. Any miscalculation can cause havoc in South Asia. Emphasizing Pakistan's position, the president said the country believed that all problems could be resolved through dialogue.

I hope that Tajikistan will use its influence on the Indian government to see reason and enter into a meaningful dialogue on all issues, including Kashmir, and help de-escalate tension in the region, the president added.

He said the security situation on the borders of Pakistan and Tajikistan had been tense over the last two decades because of the conflict in Afghanistan.-APP