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Pak proving to be stumbling block in SAARC: Sinha
Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna | January 20, 2003 13:13 IST
External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha on Sunday said that India is always ready to sign a Free Trade Arrangement with Pakistan to increase trade but the latter is not ready to do so.
Sinha told newspersons in Patna that India is keen on increasing trade with SAARC countries, including Pakistan.
SAARC's main objective is to increase trade among member nations. Hence, Pakistan is proving to be a stumbling block in improving trade relations, Sinha said.
Sinha denied that India's foreign policy is Pakistan centric. India has been trying to improve and strengthen its relations with all neighbouring countries as well as with the US, Russia and Britain, he said.
India's relation with China too is improving with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee slated to visit the nation this year, he said.
However, he said 'there is no need to start talks with Pakistan unless it stops supporting terrorism in Kashmir'.
As far as Tibet is concerned, Sinha said India considers it to be an autonomous region in China. "There is no change in our stand," he said.
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