Kashmir core issue, says Zardari ahead of meeting Manmohan

September 25th, 2008 - 1:20 am ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew York, Sep 24 (IANS) Hours before his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari Wednesday sought to revive Kashmir as the “core issue” and described the unrest in Jammu and Kashmir as “an indigenous uprising”.”Kashmir remains the core issue in India-Pakistan relations. The ongoing uprising in Kashmir is an indigenous one,” Zardari told Pakistani media persons at a briefing at Barclays Intercontinental here.

“Pakistan will continue moral support to Kashmiris,” he said.

Zardari’s address to the UN General Assembly Thursday, which he has promised will be a “memorable one”, is also expected to include a reference to Kashmir and alleged human rights abuses in Jammu and Kashmir.

Zardari’s remarks are bound to upset New Delhi and will be seen as yet another attempt to distract attention from Islamabad’s alleged complicity in cross-border terror attacks on Indian interests.

In his recent address to Pakistan National Assembly, Zardari had spoken about reinventing India-Pakistan relations and said he will solve the Kashmir issue before the next Lok Sabha election in India.

Zardari’s Kashmir remarks have cast a shadow on the first meeting between the two leaders on the sidelines of the UNGA.

Ahead of the meeting, Manmohan Singh had made it clear that cross-border terror would be the main issue in his talks with Zardari.

This will be the first meeting between the two since Zardari became the president early this month. This will also be their first encounter since the serial blasts in Delhi and the attack on Marriot Hotel in the heart of Islamabad last week.

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