In an interview broadcast by an Indian television channel on Friday,  the Pakistani President however added that in view of the failed summits between the two leaders in the past, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali could be the ideal person to talk to Vajpayee.

“I thought in the present context the prime minister may be a better person to meet him, but if he is willing to meet me I would be more than happy, Musharraf said.

Musharraf’s latest comments come in the wake of a recent thaw in relations between India and Pakistan.

Having fought wars against each other in the past, the two countries have in recent months initiated several measures to ease tensions.

Musharraf however rejected suggestions that Pakistan-backed incursions into Kargil region of Kashmir, that shattered dialogue in 1999 and brought the countries close to war, had been a mistake.

Kashmir Issue

 “No, I don’t think so. I don’t think so at all. I think the main issue of whatever happened at Kargil was the issue of Kashmir that is in the limelight now,” he said.

He said Kargil showed that India and Pakistan “cannot go to war, must not go to war and disputes need to be resolved.”

Meanwhile, a galaxy of retired diplomats, military generals and journalists began gathering in Nepal’s capital Kathmandu on Friday to thrash out details of a ‘track-two initiative’ for supplementing the peace moves between the two countries.

Topics to be debated during the meeting range from past confrontations between India and Pakistan, future prospects of peace and the presence of United States in the region.