October 2005 News

Infiltration has not ended, says Saran

3 October 2005
The News International

Islamabad: Indian Foreign Secretary Shayam Saran on Monday hoped that the infrastructure of terrorism and extremism would be dismantled by Pakistan as 'infiltration has not come to an end'. 'Sometime it (the infiltration) increases and often it decreases,' Indian Foreign Secretary Shayam Saran said while responding to a question in Hindi at press conference soon after the ministerial level talks at Nathiagali. India welcomed 'assurance from Pakistan on cross-border terrorism' and the steps taken to deal with extremism. The foreign secretary, however, said, 'We have to see the situation on the ground but as long as the phenomenon of infiltration continues and violence continues, it is going be difficult because the process of talks could be derailed if there is a major terrorist incident.' He emphasised that it would not to either country's benefit if violence is allowed to happen. Responding to a question he said, 'I don't think it is necessary to repeat again and again that we are not ready to accept any territorial changes but at the same time we are committed to do whatever can be done to address adverse human consequences.' He said Muzaffarabad-Srinagar bus service is one gesture on these lines besides mutual agreement on cross-LoC trade. Shayam said the Indian side was also ready to have meeting points along the LoC where the divided families could have an opportunity to meet. 'We are trying to address the human aspect of the problem, and that is what we have been doing during the process of talks,' he explained. He avoided direct answer to a question on participation of Kashmiri people in the dialogue process. Instead he referred to the ongoing easing of tension and bus service between the two slices of the Himalayan state. He suggested to people 'to wait for an appropriate time as this is a process, on which we are advancing and there should not be any doubts about our mutual commitment.' About Siachen and Sir Creek, he said the two countries are tackling the issue on priority basis but there has been no agreement reached so far. Shayam said neither Bagilhar not Krishan Ganga dams issues were raised by Pakistan. On the issue of Pakistan prisoners losing mental balance in Indian jails, he said the two countries should address the issue on humanitarian basis and more prisoners are being released. On Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline issue, Shayam clarified the vote in Vienna has nothing to do with Iran gas pipeline. He said the leaders did discuss the gas pipeline and other possibilities of other energy cooperation. Shayam said the consulates in Karachi and Mumbai would start operating respectively at the turn of the year. 'We have started work in Karachi in refurbishing our consulate in Karachi and in Mumbai the Pakistani side has already identified a plot of land on which to build the consulate,' he explained. The Maharashtra government has also given proposal for renting of property for the interim period, the India diplomat said.


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