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Pak ready to discuss India's concerns on Gwadar port

February 02, 2008 17:52 IST

Pakistan is prepared to discuss with India any reservations it may have about the Gwadar port, which is being built on the coast of the Balochistan province, the country's naval chief said on Saturday.
 
"If India has some concerns over the Gwadar port, it may be discussed. However, we cannot stop our progress due to concerns from any quarters," said Admiral Muhammad Afzal Tahir.
 
Last month, Indian Navy chief Admiral Suresh Mehta had said that the Gwadar port has serious strategic implications for India.
 
Speaking on the sidelines of a joint naval exercise being conducted by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia in the waters off the port city of Karachi, Tahir said: "We have always been saying that Gwadar port is a commercial port. It has no implications for any other naval force or any other country. It has been built for the development of Pakistan."
 
"If any one has any reservations, I can only say such reservations are unfounded. If any one still has reservations, they can talk to us about this," he said.
 
Mehta's remark had provoked an angry response from Pakistan's caretaker Interior Minister Nisar Memon, who claimed the statement as proof of India's involvement in promoting terrorism in Balochistan.
 
On Saturday, Admiral Tahir visited Bandar Island in the waters off Karachi to inspect the joint exercise code named Naseem-e-Bahar.
 
Seven Saudi warships and several Pakistan vessels are taking part in the drill. "The large military drill between the two countries is abundant proof of the brotherly relations between us," Tahir said.

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