Separatist leaders from Indian-controlled Kashmir are in Islamabad for a visit that is being hailed as an important step toward resolving the long-standing dispute between India and Pakistan over Kashmir.
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who will meet with the group this week, hailed the visit as 'a great leap forward.' Mr. Musharraf says the granting of permission for the group to travel shows the flexibility of both nations in the search for peace. The separatist leaders, including members of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, will meet with Pakistani officials during their stay. They plan to offer proposals for ending decades of tension with neighboring nuclear rival, India. India and Pakistan have been at odds for nearly six decades over Kashmir. Kashmiri militants have been fighting India since 1989 for independence or a merger with Pakistan.