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India expresses concern over China's nuclear sales to Pakistan

India has expressed serious concern to China over its supply of M-11 missiles to Pakistan and assistance to Islamabad's weapons-oriented nuclear programme.

This concern was conveyed to the Chinese side at different levels during official talks between the Indian and Chinese leaders, Foreign Secretary Salman Haider said.

Haider said the Chinese, however, reiterated their position that missile transfers were within the Missile Technology Control Regime and the nuclear assistance was only for peaceful purposes.

Referring to the agreements, including that on confidence building measures in the military field along the line of actual control, the foreign secretary said these would contribute to the constructive co-operation between the two countries and enhance mutual understanding and trust.

Haider described the border-related agreement as a major step towards efforts for a peaceful settlement of the boundary question. "This is a substantive, useful and forward looking agreement,'' he said at a media briefing soon after the agreement was signed.

Asked how soon the agreement would be implemented in terms of armaments and personnel reduction, Haider said the political leadership had given clear instructions to the joint working group on the boundary question and its experts group to accelerate the process.

''However, giving a timetable for this step would be rash,'' he added.

The next session of the ministerial-level joint economic group will met early next year to prepare a blueprint for economic co-operation. Haider said the India-China sub-group on science and technology would also meet early next year.

The foreign secretary said the Chinese had raised the issue of Sikkim's annexation to India but India reiterated its stand that Sikkim was an integral part of the country.

The Chinese also raised the issue of the Dalai Lama's presence in India. India, Haider said, conveyed its position that the Tibetan leader was an honoured guest in this country even though he was not permitted to indulge in political activities.


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