No proposal for tripartite talks on Kashmir: Govt
18 April 2001
The Indian Express
New Delhi: There was no proposal for tripartite talks, involving Pakistan, on Kashmir but the Government was prepared to talk to all militant groups, Lok Sabha was informed on Wednesday. External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh hoped neighbouring countries would take the Government's initiative for talks with militant groups in the "right spirit." "We will talk to all militant groups but there is no proposal for tripartite talks. We have started talks with some of the groups," he said. To a question whether Prime Minister Atal BihariVajpayee was prepared for talks with Pakistan military ruler general Parvez Musharraf, Singh said "We have no objection to it provided Pakistan creates the atmosphere conducive for talks." To a query whether Government visualised any role for the United Nations on Kashmir, the minister firmly ruled this out saying "we don"t see the UN or any other party playing the role of a facilitator between India and Pakistan." Singh said the 1948 UN resolution had been overtaken by Shimla Agreement (1972) and Lahore Declaration (1999). During the visit of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to India, a wide range of issues were discussed including forthcoming global conference on financing for development, terrorism, CTBT and India's candidature for permanent membership of the Security Council, he said.