The Indo-Pak dispute was a "stumbling block" in regional cooperation with SAARC proving to be ineffective due to its "politicisation", former Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf said today.
"Individual countries are performing on their own but when we talk of collective performance of South Asia, there is no collective goodwill or collective cooperation and unfortunately the Indo-Pak dispute happens to be the stumbling block," Musharraf said addressing 'South Asia Rising' conference hosted by Eisenhower Fellows from South Asia.
The conference is the third of its kind, with the first two conferences held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in 2006 and 2012. He said that the politicisation of the SAARC platform is another issue. "We saw politicisation this year when SAARC was supposed to be held in Pakistan but it was scuttled," he said. Musharraf said that Kashmir happens to be the main dispute between India and Pakistan, which needs to be resolved.
He also said that Afghanistan has emerged as another challenge obstructing regional cooperation. "Unfortunately, Afghanistan also blames Pakistan for introducing religious militancy in the region. But nothing is farther from the truth," he said, adding that it all started with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan back in 1979. Raman Madhok, Managing Director & Head — CMI Group, from India — and Shahid Mahmud, Chairman and CEO — Interactive Group, were the co-chairs of the two-day conference that will end tomorrow. PTI