June 2001 News

Kashmir: Hectic consultations on

18 June 2001
The Hindu

New Delhi: As senior Indian an Pakistani officials are giving final touches to Gen. Pervez Musharraf's visit here in July, India's High Commissioner to Islamabad, Mr. Vijay Nambiar, met the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Mr. Brajesh Mishra, and other officials to brief them on various aspects of bilateral ties. Mr. Nambiar gave his assessment to the senior government functionaries on various issues expected to figure during the Vajpayee-Musharraf meeting. He has already met the External Affairs Minister, Mr. Jaswant Singh, and the Foreign Secretary, Ms. Chokila iyer. Meanwhile, a Foreign Office spokesperson said "mutually agreed dates are yet to be finalised". The dates would be announced once they are agreed by the two countries. Ready to discuss Kashmir Mr. Nambiar said India would not shy away from discussing Kashmir during the coming summit but suggested that the two countries take a "wider view" of their relationship with each other and with their neighbours. The summit's main objective would be to infuse confidence between the two countries, shattered after the Kargil conflict, and re- establish the atmosphere created by the Lahore process. "We know Pakistan will insist on the core issue (Kashmir)... we are not going to shy away from it," Mr. Nambiar said in an interview to the Malayalam TV channel Kairali Pointing out that India would prefer a comprehensive dialogue, he said it was necessary for Pakistan to realise that instead of pushing for the core issue it should look at the larger question of the future of both the countries and the region. The Samata Party leader, Mr. George Fernandes, today said the summit was "very important" and people should refrain from making any speculation about it.


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