NATIONAL

"Sonia should back Manmohan"

Gen. Pervez Musharraf  



NEW DELHI: Calling Congress president Sonia Gandhi a ``nice person,'' President Pervez Musharraf had said if she put her weight behind Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, India and Pakistan could resolve disputes and bring permanent peace. ``She is a nice person ... she is again a person for peace. So I admire her and I respect her,'' he said in an interview to NDTV.

``If she puts her weight behind and Prime Minister Singh obviously gets strengthened, I think we can resolve disputes and bring permanent peace,'' the Pakistan President said.

Invitation

Asked about the invitation to Dr. Singh to visit Pakistan, he said ``yes, indeed. I would like him to come tomorrow.''

But he went on to agree with Dr. Singh's view that such a visit should take place only if it was substantive. If not a big breakthrough, ``some breakthrough'' should be there.

Asked whether he would take Dr. Singh to the Indian leader's hometown near Peshawar, General Musharraf said: ``I will take him anywhere that he wants to go ... its open ... he is the guest, I am his host. I will do anything that he wants to do.''

A drag

General Musharraf said that the establishments in Pakistan and India had harmed each other for over fifty years and called for breaking the inertia to move forward.

"... there is a drag of the establishment. Our intelligence through out for 50 years have done nothing other than harming each other.'' PTI