New York, Sept. 12: Even as UN secretary general Kofi Annan identified the situation in South Asia as one of the four current threats to world peace, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf warned the UN General Assembly that peace in the region is “hostage” to one accident or “strategic miscalculation” by India.
Opening the UN General Assembly, Annan said the world had recently come closer than for many years to a direct conflict between two nuclear weapons capable countries. “The situation may now have calmed a little, but it remains perilous. The underlying causes must be addressed”, Annan said without naming India, Pakistan or Kashmir.
He also warned that “if a fresh crisis erupts, the international community might have a role to play”.
Musharraf said in his speech to the General Assembly that “crisis management cannot afford to become a substitute for conflict resolution”.
He listed three steps for advancing peace between the two neighbours: mutual withdrawal of forward forces deployed by both India and Pakistan, a cease-fire along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir and an end to Indian “state terrorism” against Kashmiris.
“Simultaneously, a dialogue must be resumed between India and Pakistan...The Kashmiris should be fully associated with the dialogue on Kashmir and should be allowed to travel freely to Pakistan and Azad Kashmir.”
The general, who devoted a quarter of his speech to India, severely attacked the BJP, naming the party for massacring Muslims in Gujarat and targeting Christians and Sikhs. “There must be accountability for this massacre,” he said.