MEA stands by Jaswant’s remark on Kashmir
16 June 2001
The Hindustan Times
New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs on Saturday said India stood by the Parliament resolution on Jammu and Kashmir. The MEA said External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh was not airing a "personal view" when he said at press conference on May 28 that "Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India." "He had reiterated the provisions of the Constitution of India," an MEA spokesman said today. Pakistan Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf had yesterday "expressed regret" over Jaswant's remark in a "Face the Nation" programme on PTV. He said he hoped Jaswant was only expressing his view and that India would not adopt it at the forthcoming summit meeting he would have with Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In the programme, Musharraf had said he would go with an "open mind" to the summit and hoped that the Kashmir issue would move ahead. The Indian reaction to this was cryptic: "How can we gauge how open a mind is until it is opened?" This was the second time in a week that New Delhi and Islamabad have exchanged statements laced with sarcasm and conditions. On June 13, Pakistani foreign minister Abdul Sattar had said in London that he hoped Indian leaders would be "progressive". The Indian foreign office reacted swiftly and quoted extensively from Prime Minster Vajpayee's letter of invitation to Gen Musharraf to prove that India was on the path to reconciliation. In Saharanpur (UP), Human Resource Development Minister Murli Manohar Joshi said the onus of making the Vajpayee- Musharraf summit successful lay with Pakistan. "If Pakistan wants, the outstanding issues can be resolved".