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Pak has to be induced to 'fall in line' on transit issue: PM

Ajay Kaul | August 29, 2005 22:20 IST

Virtually acknowledging that Pakistan's denial of transit facility was hampering the strengthening of relations with Afghanistan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Monday that Islamabad had to be induced to "fall in line".

Addressing a press conference in Kabul before winding up his two-day visit to the country, Singh said India's cordial relations with Afghanistan would increase significantly if Pakistan cooperated.

Two-day visit to Kabul 'productive': PM

Afghanistan has been wanting transit facilities with India, he said. "The main issue is to persuade Pakistan... we have to induce Pakistan to fall in line," Singh said.

Responding to a question on whether Indo-Afghan ties were being held hostage by the issue of transit facilities through Pakistan, the prime minister said, "I will not use such strong words. But it is true that effectiveness of cooperation between India and Afghanistan in many areas will improve if Pakistan is also on board."

Images: Camaraderie in Kabul

He said the Afghan government was keen to have larger presence of the Indian business community in its country and was ready to remove any impediment that may exist in this area.


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