Self-governance New Delhi plays down idea
21 November 2005
New Delhi: India on Monday acknowledged Pakistan’s claim of a discussion between the two prime ministers in Dhaka on the idea of self- governance for Kashmir but denied any endorsement by New Delhi of what seems to have been essentially Islamabad’s suggestion. In response to questions on Pakistan foreign ministry spokesperson’s remarks on Monday about self-governance on both sides of the LoC, an Indian spokesman gave a different account of the talks between Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. During the meeting between Dr Singh and Mr Aziz in Dhaka the latter had conveyed that in seeking a resolution on the Jammu and Kashmir issue the two countries could inter alia explore ideas such as self governance and demilitarisation, the Indian spokesman said. “No proposal regarding so-called self-governance was provided to which a response was expected,” he added. “Our PM had conveyed that J&K already enjoyed autonomy under the Indian constitution and had in place a popular government elected through free and fair elections. However, there was clearly a lack of autonomy in Pakistan’s part of Kashmir and there had been no popular elections in Gilgit and Baltistan to determine the wishes and aspirations of the people,” the Indian spokesman quoted Dr Singh as saying. The Indian prime minister “had also reiterated that there would be no question of redeployment of security forces by India while cross border terrorism and infiltration continued and there was no cessation of acts of terrorist violence,” the spokesman said.