April 2005 News

No redrawing maps, Natwar tells Pakistan

8 April 2005
The Daily Times
Staff Report

New Delhi: India has told Pakistan that it is open to all options that they offer except redrawing the map of India and having a second partition.'Our views are quite clear. We are open to all options that they offer, except redrawing the map of India and having a second partition,' External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh told BBC World.Describing the bus link between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad as 'a very significant development', he said India's composite dialogue with Pakistan was progressing 'very satisfactorily'.Referring to the historic bus service, Singh said 'I've never seen a better atmosphere on both sides of the Line of Control.'He said 'Given the history of this particular issue, one has to tread very cautiously, with great patience, with great restraint, with great wisdom and with great hope. This is a continuous process and I have repeatedly told our friends in Pakistan there is no quick fix. These are complex problems going back decades and it will take some time'.On the United States' decision to supply F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan despite India's opposition, Singh said, 'I have told the Americans that we are disappointed but our relationship has reached a level of maturity where we can live with our differences without our fundamental friendly relations being affected adversely.'Our relations with the United States have reached a different dimension. The relations have never been better. Right across, we are having exchanges with them, in every area, including peaceful uses of nuclear energy,' he said.Regarding the situation in Nepal, Singh said 'The emergency should be ended. It's a very distressing situation. We are a very large country and we have to be excessively sensitive to the feelings of the Nepalese people and the Nepalese establishment.'


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