Asif Ali Zardari claims Rajiv Gandhi and Benazir Bhutto were prepared to resolve Kashmir dispute

Rajiv Gandhi and Benazir Bhutto were ready to resolve the Kashmir issue amicably but the Indian leader was assassinated during the election campaign, Pakistan's former president Asif Ali Zardari has claimed

PTI February 06, 2018 16:46:56 IST
Asif Ali Zardari claims Rajiv Gandhi and Benazir Bhutto were prepared to resolve Kashmir dispute

Lahore: Rajiv Gandhi and Benazir Bhutto were ready to resolve the Kashmir issue amicably but the Indian leader was assassinated during the election campaign, Pakistan's former president Asif Ali Zardari has claimed. Zardari also revealed that former dictator Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf had come up with a plan on Kashmir issue but other generals could not agree to it.

Asif Ali Zardari claims Rajiv Gandhi and Benazir Bhutto were prepared to resolve Kashmir dispute

Asif Ali Zardari. Reuters

"BB (Benazir Bhutto) sahiba had spoken to Rajiv Gandhi in 1990 who agreed to resolve the Kashmir issue amicably. Rajiv told Benazir that during the last 10 years no one including General Zia from Pakistan spoke with us on this issue," Zardari said at a Kashmir rally last evening. "He (Rajiv) admitted that Kashmir was an important issue and should be resolved. Rajiv said he would take up this issue with Pakistan after coming to power but he was assassinated (in 1991)," the former president added.

Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated while campaigning for the Congress party candidate in Sriperumbudur on 21 May, 1991. The Pakistan People's Party co-chairman further said that no other government except PPP took up this issue with India. After Benazir, it was PPP’s previous government (2008-13) that had taken up the Kashmir issue with the then Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh.

Zardari said Musharraf's (India friendly) plan on the Kashmir issue was rejected by other generals. "I have a copy of that secret plan of Musharraf on Kashmir. When Musharraf presented that plan before other generals they left the room," he said. He said ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif cannot talk on the Kashmir issue even in his Muzafarabad (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) rally as he is a friend of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"A friend of Modi cannot talk on Kashmir. Sharif was rightly ousted from the prime minister house for betraying Kashmiris," he said.

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