May 2003 News

LoC as permanent border unacceptable: Sh Rashid

18 May 2003
The Daily Times

LONDON: Federal Minister for Information and Media Development Sheikh Rashid Ahmed categorically said on Sunday Pakistan would not accept the Line of Control (LoC) as permanent border.'We are not going to accept LoC as permanent border', he told Ptv Prime Time in an interview here on Sunday. He said talks between Pakistan and India were expected next month. Pakistan would go into talks with an open mind, irrespective of the fact whether these talks were held in Islamabad or New Delhi, he said.Pakistan was keen to begin the talks in a positive manner for solution of all outstanding problems with India, he said. But Kashmir could not be put in cold storage, as it was the main issue between the two countries. Its solution can reduce defence expenses of the two countries and as a result trade could also thrive between them.Sheikh Rashid said it was necessary to take the Kashmiri leaders into confidence for ensuring success of talks between the two countries. To a question, he said, as result of talks between President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Vajpayee at Agra, a draft document was agreed upon but hardliners foiled the success of Agra summit.Kashmir issue has to be resolved in line with their aspirations and it could be settled one day, he said. If the UN resolutions could be implemented on other issues, why could it not be done in the case of Kashmir, asked the minister? Federal Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad is scheduled to be the chief guest at the inaugural session of the three-day leadership convention of Pakistanis in Chicago, from May 23.The Pakistani American Association of North America (PAANA) is organizing the convention A large number of prominent Pakistani public figures, scholars, professionals, diplomats, journalists and media persons have been invited to attend the annual convention, in which topics relevant to Pakistan or Pakistani immigrants would be discussed.US legislators and leading public figures have also been invited. According to the programme, the keynote speaker at the inaugural session will be Lord Nazir Ahmed from United Kingdom, with the topic 'How can Pakistani Americans work together for the development and image-building of Pakistan in our adopted homelands.' -APP


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