India, Pak readied mechanism to resolve Kashmir issue in 1999: Ex Pak Foreign Minister

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Islamabad, Nov.26 (ANI): Former Pakistan Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz has said that India and Pakistan had agreed to settle the long pending Kashmir dispute through a well devised mechanism, according to which India would annex the Jammu and Ladakh regions, leaving the Kashmir valley and some adjoining areas for further discussion.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of his book release function, Aziz said India and Pakistan had devised a strategy to settle in Kashmir issue in 1999, but the fall of the Atal Behari Vajpayee led NDA government and the Kargil war shattered any chances of the agreement going through.

Aziz in his book titled 'Between Dreams and Realities: Some Milestones in Pakistan's History', has highlighted several issues, including the Kargil conflict, Indo-Pak relations and the military's intervention in the country's polity.

According to Aziz the component of the solution included integration of POK with the Northern Areas of Gilgit-Baltistan, while India would have annexed Jammu and Ladakh.

"We had discussed giving the Kashmir valley maximum possible autonomy, and also set a timeframe of four-to-five years for the implementation of the solution," The Daily Times quoted Aziz, as saying.

Aziz said that just a month after Vajpayee's much-touted Lahore visit in 1999, he had met his Indian counterpart Jaswant Singh in Colombo and discussed various issues concerning Kashmir.

"We noted the recommendations of American Kashmir Study Group. We discussed conducting a plebiscite, district or region wise instead of in the whole of Jammu and Kashmir," he said. (ANI)

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