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June 28, 1999
Delhi confirms Pak emissary's visitIndia today confirmed that Niaz Naik visited New Delhi as a special emissary of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharief and discussed the Kargil issue with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his Principal Secretary Brajesh Mishra yesterday.
Talking to reporters in New Delhi, an External Affairs Ministry spokesman said the visit of Naik, a former Pakistan foreign secretary, followed telephonic discussions between Vajpayee and Sharief.
The spokesman would not say whether Naik had brought any fresh proposal from Islamabad to end the ongoing conflict.
In a brief statement, he said messages were exchanged between the two prime ministers on the Kargil situation. ''These messages were in continuation of their telephonic discussions of the past few weeks.''
The spokesman said: ''In these exchanges, our prime minister has emphasised that Pakistan must withdraw its forces and extremist elements from our side of the Line of Control and reaffirm the sanctity of the LoC. The prime minister also conveyed our continuing interest in resuming the Lahore process once this happens.''
Asked if Naik's visit was private in nature or he was part of an official Pakistani delegation, the spokesman said the visit could not be characterised.
On whether Naik's talks in New Delhi were not in contradiction with India's stand that it would not hold dialogue with Pakistan until the neighbouring country vacated its intrusion in Kargil,he said: ''By talks, we meant getting the formal composite dialogue process back on the track.''
He said there was no link between Naik's visit to Delhi and that of the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Gibson Lanpher.
The spokesman reiterated that India had shown a high degree of restraint in the face of armed aggression by Pakistan. The military operations to evict the intruders from Kargil would continue until the task was accomplished, he said.
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