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July 19, 1999
Settling Kashmir vital for creating trust: Pak
Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Shamshad Ahmed has told India that progress in settling the Kashmir issue was vital for creating trust between the two nations, the Associated Press of Pakistan news agency reported today.
''Until there is headway in a resolution of Kashmir, the element of confidence and trust will remain a far cry and illusion,'' Ahmed said in Jeddah, briefing the media on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharief's talks with Saudi leaders.
It was not clear from the report whether Ahmed was responding to External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh's reported remark to an Indian television network yesterday that there cannot be any talks with Pakistan ''till the trust is restored''.
APP quoted Ahmed as saying in Jeddah that ''confidence-building measures cannot be created in a vacuum''.
Ahmed said the measures could be addressed in the context of the Lahore Declaration the two countries signed in February. He expressed the hope that India would resume the dialogue in furtherance of the Lahore process.
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