December 2003 News

New Delhi welcomes Islamabad offer

19 December 2003
The Dawn

NEW DELHI: India said on Friday that it welcomed Pakistan's surprise offer to drop its demand for a UN-mandated referendum on the future of the disputed Kashmir region. Indian Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha, in New Delhi's first reaction to Islamabad's offer, said his government would always be ready to accept any change in the Pakistani position that a plebiscite in Kashmir was the only way out of the thorny dispute that has plagued relations between the nuclear-armed neighbours. 'We have always suggested flexibility,' Mr Sinha told reporters on Friday after a cabinet meeting on security. 'It is Pakistan which has been rigid, it is Pakistan which talks about the centrality of the issue. So if there is any change or modification in the Pakistani position, that's something which India will always be ready to welcome.' -Reuters


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