June 24, 2000
KARACHI, JUNE 23: Pakistan’s chief executive general Pervez Musharraf on Friday said that his country should be given more time to develop a national consensus on signing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).
"We share the concern of the world on proliferation. But we have to develop a national consensus on signing the treaty," Gen Musharraf told a meeting of the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs (PIIA). A delay, he said, is needed because of Pakistan’s domestic and other problems.
Musharraf said that Pakistan is confronted by India on a number of fronts, economic and political as well as military in nature. He said India’s desire to become a major regional power as key factors in the development of Pakistani foreign policy.
Musharraf said: "We must avoid war. No sane person can think of war in today’s world, but Pakistan is maintaining credible deterrence to the threat and will continue to do so."
"We will engage India in dialogue on Kashmir, raise the issue at international organisations like the UN and the Organisation of Islamic countries and mobilise and generate support on the issue from other countries," he said.
Musharraf said Pakistan is concerned about happenings in neighbouring Afghanistan and wants peace in that war-torn country. "Pakhtoons, who are 70 per cent of Afghanistan population and live along Pakistani borders, must be on Pakistan’s side," he said.
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