Musharraf aides hint at peace offer to India


Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf is preparing for his biggest speech since he joined the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Senior Pakistani government officials said today Gen Musharraf and his military advisers were drafting the speech, which could be delivered at the weekend.

Expectations are high the speech will be a step toward defusing the standoff with India but Pakistani officials tried to play down speculation of a ground-breaking move, saying it was difficult for the military ruler to maneuver without appearing to bow to Indian pressure to close down the Kashmiri groups.

"He had wanted to move in a certain direction, but now he could be seen as acting under pressure," said a senior Musharraf aide, speaking on condition of anonymity.