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Pakistan suggests timeframe for talks
K J M Varma in Islamabad | May 08, 2003 00:10 IST
Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri on Wednesday suggested a two-month timeframe to hold official-level talks with India.
"When the president [Pervez Musharraf] is saying that we are prepared for talks, I do not think it is appropriate for people to feel apprehensive that we are not prepared," he said in a programme on Pakistan TV.
He, however, said: "We are prepared but we are not rushing into it.
"I do agree to some extent with Prime Minister [Atal Bihari] Vajpayee's argument that we need to prepare for this dialogue. But the preparations should not take years. It should be completed in a few weeks or at least in a couple of months."
Accusing 'hardliners' of 'sabotaging' the Agra summit, he said the two countries need not start the dialogue in a vacuum.
"What we offered is... structured dialogue, which will hopefully address all outstanding issues, including Jammu and Kashmir."
The foreign minister said Pakistan was prepared to hold the SAARC [South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation] summit, which could provide an opportunity for Vajpayee and his Pakistani counterpart Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali to meet.
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