It was a plea for donation that New Delhi had never been asked before October 19, never expected from Islamabad, and that, too, in front of a worldwide audience. The earthquake had provided the opportunity, the occasion demanded it and President Gen Pervez Musharraf took up the challenge.
Musharraf asking for a unique donation, stunned the Indian delegation in reaching out to New Delhi. It was a plea that must have gone down well with the foreign donors, who have always expressed their apprehensions over tension in Kashmir that the two nuclear rivals have held on to fast.
"My appeal to India is let’s together resolve the Kashmir dispute once, and for all, and grasp the fleeting moment, let happiness emerge from the ruins of the tragedy. The earthquake has created a unique feeling of togetherness, of an urge to help each other within the people of Kashmir. I sincerely believe that the challenge of this earthquake can be created into an opportunity of a lifetime that was never available to India and Pakistan to improve their relations. Let us together solve the Kashmir dispute, once, and for all," Musharraf said.
Amid thunderous applause as television cameras panned on the Indian delegation headed by its State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Musharraf remarked: "Let this be the Indian donation to Kashmir. Let us together solve the Kashmir dispute, once, and for all."