President Gen. Pervez Musharraf has said Pakistan is willing to give up its claim to Kashmir if India reciprocates and agrees to self-governance in the disputed Himalayan region that they have fought over for decades.
The comments, made in an interview aired Tuesday by India's NDTV network, were among Musharraf's strongest yet to encourage a settlement in the bitter, 58-year dispute since the South Asian rivals began peace talks nearly three years ago.
There was no immediate reaction from India's government, and Musharraf's spokesman accused NDTV of "twisting" the president's comments to suggest that Pakistan was making a unilateral offer to give up its claim to Kashmir.
In his interview, Musharraf was asked if Pakistan was willing to give up its claim to Kashmir if India also agreed to self-governance in its part of the divided region. He replied, "Yes, we will have to if this solution comes up."