New Delhi: India and Pakistan were close to working out the outline of a solution to Kashmir but it could not happen due to "sheer bad luck, former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid M Kasuri has said.
Kasuri, who served as Foreign Minister under President Pervez Musharraf, said both countries had reached an understanding on disengagement in Siachen. It’s the first time an official involved in the negotiations has gone public with them. Kasuri was speaking to Karan Thapar on CNBC-TV18’s show India Tonight.
Kasuri said the two sides had reached an understanding on a joint mechanism that would comprise representatives from the two countries besides both sides of the divided Kashmir.
The agreements could not fructify because of "sheer bad luck".
On demilitarisation, Kasuri said Pakistan thought that there cannot be an agreement on Kashmir unless "you provide comfort to Kashmiris. We thought this would provide comfort to Kashmiris and the question was at what time and at what numbers that was the sort of thing that was going on."
Asked if the principle of delimilitarisation was more or less understood and accepted, Kasuri said: "it was understood. The details had not been worked out in the same manner it had been for certain other sections.”
To another query if the details were the schedule of withdrawal, he replied, "Yes, of course and that would depend on how much progress was being made on others."
Again asked if what he said implied both sides would withdraw from the respective areas of Kashmir, he said: "Yes, this is what we were discussing."