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Pakistan will not hesitate to use nuclear weapons-Gen. Musharaf

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    Pakistan will not hesitate to use nuclear weapons-Gen. Musharaf

    from today's internet DAWN

    Nuclear option open if security threatened: Musharraf

    ISLAMABAD, Jan 4: Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf has said that Pakistan will not hesitate to use nuclear weapons if its security is threatened.

    "If the security of Pakistan is threatened, surely we would not allow Pakistan to die. That will not be allowed," Musharraf said in an interview with CNN broadcast on Tuesday. He was replying to a question under what conditions would Pakistan be prepared to use nuclear weapons.

    The Chief Executive said Pakistan has not worked out any guiding principle as such for the use of nuclear arsenal, but "surely Pakistan's security will never be compromised."

    He said that possession of nuclear weapons by both Pakistan and India has reduced the chances of an open conflagration on the Kashmir dispute. "And since the dispute is there, and since we are both nuclear powers now, the danger of this expanding into a nuclear conflagration should modify our stand and we must look at it more seriously," he maintained.

    To a question he said he was taking a realistic view of the situation and India too should be realistic, and it should focus on the Kashmir issue, the main issue of tension between the two countries. "Kashmir has been sidelined in the past and that is why there has never been any progress."

    He said whatever progress was achieved previously was cosmetic in nature. "If we strike at the root cause of tension between Pakistan and India, I am very sure that we can resolve the problems, and exist in peace," he asserted.

    The Chief Executive said that the root cause of dispute is the indigenous uprising that has taken place within Kashmir. "The people of Kashmir do not want to be with India, and they have their own demands. The UN resolution is there, which calls for plebiscite to determine the wishes and desires of the people of Kashmir. And this is the dispute that needs to be resolved," he elaborated.

    He said solution to the problem lay in sitting and discussing to arrive at a mutually agreeable solution. "But the first step that has to be taken is to accept it as a problem and start a dialogue. And this is exactly what has not been done by India," he added.

    He said on the advent of new millennium, Pakistan cherishes hopes of co-existing peacefully in the region, having settled its outstanding disputes, especially Kashmir with India, and having resolved the Afghan imbroglio.

    He said Pakistan was prepared to exploit the potential opportune moment for a meaningful rapprochement.

    "I have been saying it in no uncertain terms that I would like to have peace in the region, and in that, I would surely like to go a long way. I have been saying that if India takes one step, I will take ten steps. But on the other side there is no reciprocation," he regretted.

    Gen Musharraf said Pakistan has showed its intention by reducing tension, by unilaterally withdrawing troops that were moved up on the borders. But there is no reciprocation, he repeated.

    The Chief Executive said Pakistan is for peace with honour and dignity. "We want peace with honour and dignity. We want peace and we must address the core issue so that real peace is brought about," he added.-NNI