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Pakistan unhappy at Indian response
K J M Varma Islamabad |
May 09, 2003 20:56 IST
Pakistan on Friday voiced its unhappiness at India's dissatisfaction with the confidence building measures announced by Islamabad, but expressed hopes of holding bilateral talks with India soon.
"We were very unhappy when Ministry of External Affairs in Delhi tried to pick holes with what was announced without considering how much greater was the sheer quantum of our package compared to that of India," Foreign Minister Khurshid M Kasuri said. "It is easy to pick faults with everything you do. Pakistan could have said India announced only two CBMs. We welcomed them. We could have repeated our known position on Kashmir."
Kasuri also said Armitage's visit to the region was aimed at promoting bilateral dialogue between India and Pakistan. "We will start talking to each other as openly as we want. Whether we like it or not, it is common friends who will have to play some role. Sooner we talk to each other directly the better," he said.
Asked why Pakistan, while restoring air links, has not re-opened its airspace for Indian overflights, Kasuri said, "The experts have to meet. Let the experts meet. Let there be some progress. I cannot say more. People who understand can understand."
On talks Armitage held with Pakistani leaders, including Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, he said, "We told them that there are not any (terrorist) training camps. We have told them that President Musharraf means every word of what he said."
Kasuri said he was cautiously optimistic about the peace process with India. Observing the process has raised expectations of the people of India and Pakistan he said, "It is incumbent on both the parties not to do anything to queer the pitch... also the two countries should lower temperatures and come up with creative solutions making major compromises initially."
Kasuri said the US was genuinely interested in solving the disputes between India and Pakistan. "We should not be apprehensive about the interest shown by America to solve India-Pakistan problems. Sometimes parties take intractable positions and need friends to help... it should be looked at positively than negatively," he said.