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India for single currency; Pak says 'no'

M K Razdan in Islamabad | January 02, 2004 20:23 IST

India on Friday proposed single currency and SAARC Economic Union, but Pakistan refused by saying that immediate focus should be on conflict resolution.

South Asia with one currency, one tariff regime and free movement of goods, services and people was well within the realm of possibility, External Affairs Minister Yashwant

Sinha told the SAARC Chamber Symposium on Regional Cooperation in Islamabad.

Islamabad saw the Indian proposal as a good long-term objective, but emphasised that the right atmosphere has to be created by removing conflicts in the region.

Reacting to the Indian proposals, Pakistani spokesman Masood Khan said the proposals, even though not premature could be long-term goals but it was an idea that required a "step-by-step" approach.

Before taking up such proposals, critical issues like regional conflicts should be resolved, he told a media briefing after the first round of SAARC Foreign Ministers' meeting.

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