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sides head for home

Expelled diplomats on both
sides head for home

February 10, 2003 12:36 IST

Indian Charge d' Affaires in Pakistan Sudhir Vyas and four other expelled Indian high commission officials on Monday left Islamabad for New Delhi.

Besides Vyas, Pakistan expelled First Secretary Rahul Rasgotra and staffers M R Balu, Ranbir Singh and S R Anand.

They are expected to cross over to India at the Wagah border point in Punjab by noon.

Meanwhile, expelled Pakistani Charge d'Affaires Jaleel Abbas Jilani and three other Pakistan high commission officials on Monday morning left Delhi for Wagah.

Jilani left by road for Amritsar while the others boarded a train. Another expelled staffer is currently on Haj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

"The charges against me are false and the motivation behind it is India's policy to project Pakistan in a certain light and to term the Kashmir struggle as a terrorist movement," Jilani said before leaving New Delhi.

"India wants to avoid a dialogue with Pakistan," he said adding the Indian Government's decision to stay away from the proposed SAARC summit in Islamabad has caused 'sadness' in the region.

Advocating the need for negotiations between the two countries, he said, "As long as Indo-Pak relations remain as an extension of the domestic politics we cannot really achieve any progress. We will have to delink it in case we wish to resolve the issues."

Both nations should stop the 'blame game', sit together and resolve outstanding issues through negotiations, he said adding the imbroglio had affected the life of common man in both the countries.

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