Below is the text of Mr Major’s doorstep interview in Lahore on Tuesday 14th January 1997.
Can I firstly extend my thanks to the Government of Pakistan and to the people for the very warm hospitality that Norma and I have enjoyed over the last couple of days. It has been a trip I have long looked forward to and one I will look back on with a great deal of pleasure for a long time.
The principal focus of the visit was to advance the rapidly-
I also had the opportunity of lengthy discussions both with the prime minister and the president and with a number of other prominent political personalities and I found those extremely useful and extremely valuable.
The principal feeling that I have as I come to the conclusion of this tour is that despite all that has been done to enrich the relationship over recent years, there is still far more that can be built upon and the opportunity of a much wider and deeper trading and commercial relationship is there to be taken providing the British Government, the Pakistan government and British and Pakistani business are determined that it shall be so. I think they are.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Prime Minister, you spoke earlier on at the seminar and you mentioned political stability. Political stability is obviously conditional on regional stability. Has the UK Government made any suggestions to the prime minister or the president of Pakistan to move in that direction and what would those suggestions be?
That matter was discussed both with the prime minister and with the president and I think up to a point you are right, regional stability obviously adds to domestic political stability though from the point of the businessmen it is domestic political stability that they are most concerned about but yes, we did discuss those matters, they are essentially matters for Pakistan not for an outsider to deal in but where we can offer help, encouragement and assistance we will be happy to do so.
Prime Minister, what are your views about the Kashmir issue and in the present circumstances how can it be solved and how can you help Pakistan and India?
I discussed that issue at some length with the president and I think the president subsequently indicated the nature of our discussion.
There are three essential parties to a solution to the Kashmir issue: the government of Pakistan, the government of India and the people themselves who live in Kashmir. All of those three are going to have an important part in deciding whether there can be a solution.
I hope that it will be possible to move forward because to follow up the question from your colleague a few moments ago, if the Kashmir problem were to be be solved over the next few years -