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Pakistan backs India's stand
K J M Varma in Islamabad |
May 06, 2003 00:52 IST
Pakistan on Monday virtually backed India's stand that careful preparations were needed for summit-level talks.
Pakistan Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali also held an all-party meeting to discuss the recent peace moves by both the countries and build a consensus on the country's peace initiative with India.
Leaders of Pakistan's political parties, which have representation in the National Assembly, attended the meeting held at the official residence of Jamali, two days after he extended a formal invitation to his Indian counterpart Atal Bihari Vajpayee to visit Islamabad for talks.
Within hours of the invitation, Vajpayee had written back to Jamali saying a careful preparation on the ground was necessary for meaningful engagement at the highest level. President Pervez Musharraf, in an interview to a private Pakistani television channel, said Pakistan could work for a no-war pact with India followed by mutual reduction of troops and de-nuclearisation of South Asia if Kashmir issue was resolved.
Asserting that Pakistan was ready for a composite bilateral dialogue at any level to discuss all outstanding issues, including Kashmir, foreign ministry spokesman Aziz Ahmed Khan said Islamabad was also ready to get rid of its nuclear arsenal if India did the same. Terming as 'positive' Vajpayee's reply to the invitation from his Pakistani counterpart Mir Zafarullah Jamali to visit Islamabad, Aziz Ahmad Khan said Pakistan was not disappointed about Vajpayee's suggestion for careful groundwork before the summit-level talks.
Almost all the invited leaders including Muthahida Majlis Amal's Shah Ahmad Noorani, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Qazi Hussain Ahmad, senior leader of Pakistan Peoples Party Mukdhum Amin Fahim and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz's Javed Hashmi and head of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Q Choudhary Sujat Hussain attended the meeting.
Meanwhile, Pakistan's Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said that Pakistan does not accept conversion of the status of Line of Control into permanent border between India and Pakistan. "We do not accept the LoC as permanent boundary. No way at all," he said reacting to reports carried by sections of the press on the subject. "Had we accepted the LoC as permanent border then what was the justification for continuing such a long struggle?"