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No change in Kashmir policy, says Pakistan

August 21, 2008 19:22 IST

Pakistan on Thursday said its policy on the Kashmir issue had not changed despite a war of words with India on situation in Jammu and Kashmir [Images] and that it remained committed to the peace process with the neighbouring country.

Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Sadiq said, "Our policy on Kashmir has not changed. We have reacted to the events in (Jammu and Kashmir) but our policy remains the same."

Replying to a question at the weekly news briefing on the flurry of statements issued by Pakistan in recent days on the recent violent protests in Jammu and Kashmir, he said: "The government of Pakistan is fully committed to the peace process started four years ago."

Sadiq also indicated that the resignation of former President Pervez Musharraf earlier this week would have no impact on proposals mooted by him to resolve Kashmir issue.

India has angrily rejected statements issued by Pakistani leaders and spokesmen on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir as a "clear interference" in its internal affairs. It has also asked Pakistan to desist from making such comments.

Pakistan's parliament this week set up a special committee to monitor alleged human rights abuses in Kashmir.

In response to a question, Sadiq said Pakistan attached great importance to cross-LoC confidence-building measures.

 Noting that Pakistan had hosted a meeting of the Working Group on cross-LoC measures in July, he said several steps discussed at this meet were later adopted by the foreign secretaries during their talks in New Delhi [Images] later that month.

The steps included an increase in the frequency of the two cross-LoC bus services, introducing triple entry travel permits and expeditious processing of travel requests in emergencies. This would allow divided Kashmiri families to meet and provide relief to Kashmiris, Sadiq said.

In response to yet another question on BJP president Rajnath Singh's reported remark that the Inter-Services Intelligence agency had launched "economic terrorism" in

India, Sadiq said such "baseless and unsubstantiated charges" by a senior member of "India's leading political party are unfortunate and need to be avoided".

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