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'Improved Sino-Indian relations may have positive impact on Indo-Pak ties'
By a rediff correspondent | June 16, 2003 11:20 IST
If India's relations with China improved, it might have a positive impact on India'sáties with Pakistan in the long run, claimed a senior government official, while addressing non-governmental security experts on June 14 in New Delhi.
"The preparatory talks with Chinese officials on Prime Minister's (Atal Bihari Vajpayee) forthcoming visit to China were proceeding positively. The government was hopeful of some positive results from the visit," he added.
He, however, did not elaborate the fields in which positive results were expected. He claimed that Vajpayee's recent meeting with the Chinese President Hu Jintao in St Petersburg in Russia was 'very friendly and cordial and bode well' foráhis visit to China.
He described the foreign policy of Vajpayee as pragmatic, non-sentimental and based on 'recognition of ground realities'. The government, he added, believed in a policy of 'constructive engagement' with all countries, including Pakistan.
He, however, expressed concern over the tussle in Pakistan's ruling coalition, comprising various religious parties. He feared that this could result in a fresh setback to the democratic process in the country.
While analysing the development in North West Frontier Province, he said if Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf is compelled to dismiss the fundamentalist government in the NWFP and also dismiss the National Assembly, he might try to placate angry public opinion by increasing support to jehadi terrorists operating against India.
He also indicated the government was disturbed by the remarks made by Musharraf in his interview with NDTV in which he refused to rule out another Kargil.
He said the government has not yet taken a decision on sending troops to Iraq. He claimed the previous governments had 'mishandled' the national security situation.
He claimed that as a result of deft handling by the Vajpayee government India is now accepted as a 'major power' by the international community.