June 2004 News

India calls for fresh ideas on Kashmir

10 June 2004
The Dawn
Jawed Naqvi

New Delhi: Indian Foreign Minister Natwar Singh has sought fresh ideas on ways to resolve the Kashmir dispute, the Press Trust of India said on Thursday quoting his interview with the BBC World. The gist of the minister's suggests that Islamabad's stress on the centrality of the Kashmir dispute was as old as New Delhi's emphasis on other urgent issues. Mr Singh's thinking was reflected in his decision to seek a meeting of government secretaries from both countries to settle the Baglihar Dam dispute, or at least throw up new ideas, ahead of the foreign secretaries' talks later this month. About the familiar stance over Kashmir on both sides, Mr Singh said 'Well, I would only say that we will appeal and request them (Pakistan) that this road we have travelled over 57 years hasn't produced the results that you want, the results that we want. Let's make a new beginning.' He was replying to a question about Pakistan's stand that Kashmir should be discussed first and that improvement in bilateral relations depended on progress on this issue. NUCLEAR ISSUE Kashmir was one of issues between India and Pakistan, Mr Singh said, adding 'To me personally, the most important thing on our agenda should be nuclear dimension because when we (Congress) remitted office in 1996 we were not a nuclear power'. Was a mutually acceptable solution to resolve the Kashmir dispute possible? 'I think it should be, given the goodwill on both sides.


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