Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf today said he would try to find out whether Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee "stood for peace or war" during his forthcoming summit with him. Musharraf, during his interaction with senior editors of Pakistani newspapers, said that after reading the poetry by Vajapayee he is confused whether the Indian Prime Minister "stood for peace or war".
Musharraf said that Vajpayee's poems represent his two faces -- one soft and another harsh, according to some of the editors who took part in the meeting. "We do not know who real Vajpayee is", Musharraf said adding he is going to find out during his talks with the Indian leader.
He also said that he would not have any secret understanding with India on Kashmir, Siachen or any other issue during his forthcoming summit with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Musharraf, during an interaction with the editors of Pakistani newspapers, was also reported to have said that he would try his best to meet the Hurriyat Conference leaders from Kashmir during his visit to New Delhi as he believed that they represented the Kashmiri sentiments. He, however, said it was not his endeavour to go for a confrontation with Indian leadership on this issue, according to some of the editors who attended the meeting.
Stating that the question of him reaching any secret understanding with India on Kashmir, Siachen or any other issue simply does not arise, the Pakistani leader promised to be as transparent as possible.
The General said that in order to prove his intentions he would try to address a joint press conference with Vajpayee at the end of the summit in Agra. Disclosing that he had three telephone conversations with Vajpayee during the past few weeks, Musharraf said he amply made it clear to the Indian leader that Kashmir would be focus of his talks, the editors said.
Musharraf also said that he was given to understand by Vajpayee that Kashmir would be the main issue on the agenda. He said he told Vajpayee that the statement emanating from Indian leaders stating that Kashmir belonged to India "vitiated" the atmosphere. For this, Vajpayee is supposed to have told him that the media had distorted the statements.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan state television quoted Musharraf as saying that "there is vast difference between Kashmir and all other issues and all other issues and Kashmir." He told the editors that he was assured by the Indian leaders that it would be Kashmir and all other issues and not the other way. "The difference between the two approaches is like the difference between the sky and earth," he said.
Earlier the official APP news agency reported Musharraf as telling the editors that he has decided to go to New Delhi after sensing Indian leadership's realisation to resolve the Kashmir issue which was not the case on earlier occasions when the two sides discussed bilateral relations.
He said that Pakistan would join India at the summit in Agra next month with an open mind and an open agenda to have a focussed dialogue on Kashmir and all other issues. Musharraf said he was willing to discuss the bilateral relationship in its entirety and expected reciprocity from the other side.
He, however, cautioned against placing too much hope in this visit alone as the "complexities of the problem and the mistrust of half a century could not be removed overnight. "