| Shaukat Aziz
Nov. 14: Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz will formally put forward General Pervez Musharraf's proposals for Kashmir when he arrives here later this month.
Some time ago, Musharraf floated a trial balloon by suggesting Jammu and Kashmir (including the part in Pakistan's possession) be carved into seven regions and demilitarised as a prelude to letting them choose their rulers.
'Our Prime Minister is going to India where it will be discussed,' foreign minister Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri told a radio station.
Yesterday, his Indian counterpart, Natwar Singh, had said India would 'certainly look into' such a proposal if it were to be made formally.
Before Aziz's visit ' he will be in Delhi on November 23 ' moves are being made on either side that suggest a quickening of activity. Last week, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced troops reduction in the state.
In Hyderabad today, Singh said the decision was another experiment to reduce tension and promote confidence among the people.
'We have taken some risks in the past and this (troop cut) is not an unacceptable risk,' he added
Aziz is coming to Delhi as the outgoing chairperson of Saarc to invite India to the regional association's summit in Dhaka.
Kasuri said: 'Our President has already started a debate and there is no doubt that when we go for the next meeting we will definitely take this proposal along.'
Even if the proposal is not discussed during Aziz's visit, there will be several occasions in the near future when the two sides will come together.
Kasuri said he had invited Natwar Singh to Pakistan and 'then we are meeting in Dhaka and our foreign secretaries are also due to meet'. So opportunities are enough but the need is for clear and good intentions'.
India had initially reacted coldly to Musharraf's formula. But, yesterday, when asked for his reaction to the proposals, Natwar Singh said India would consider them if they were made formally and not through the media.
Natwar Singh's remarks were welcomed by Pakistan as reflecting a 'positive and constructive approach towards resolution of the Kashmir issue'.
Today, he reminded Pakistan about India's concern over cross-border terrorism.
'We are hopeful that President Musharraf will stand by the commitment he made on January 6, 2004. We hope that cross-border activity will cease and terrorist movement will stop,' Singh said.
In a joint statement with then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Musharraf had given an assurance that Pakistan would not allow territory under its control to be used for terrorist activities.
Before Aziz lands in Delhi, Manmohan Singh is travelling to Kashmir this week.
'It is more or less a visit aimed at giving a healing touch to people who had suffered tremendously during last few years' I want to reach out to the hearts and minds of the people,' he said.
'We want to put an end to this chapter of violence in Kashmir and that is my goal.'