Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee arrived in Bombay on Wednesday afternoon for surgery on his right knee.
Vajpayee was accompanied by Information Technology and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pramod Mahajan and Principal Secretary Brajesh Mishra.
Speaking to reporters after his arrival, Vajpayee said, "I have already stated that relations between India and Pakistan will improve only if there are friendly contacts between the two countries. We are consciously taking steps to stop the hatred on both sides."
Asked whether he read the statement of Pakistan military ruler General Pervez Musharraf, where he has come down heavily on fundamentalist forces in Pakistan, he said, "I have read part of his speech. I feel his statement gives a rise to a good atmosphere between the two countries. And we have kept repeating that we need good bilateral relations between the two countries."
Among those who received Vajpayee were Petroleum Minister Ram Naik, Union Minister for Heavy Industries Manohar Joshi, Union Health Minister Dr C P Thakur, Maharashtra Governor P C Alexander, Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and Minister of State for Home Kripashankar Singh.
Asked how he felt about meeting the Pakistan chief executive, he said, "I feel as usual. We have decided to meet and review peace."
When a reporter asked whether Kashmir would be discussed, he said, "We have been constantly talking about the J&K issue and we have kept our doors open. The Simla agreement was on the same thing and we repeated that in the Lahore agreement that we are open for talks."
Asked if the government is thinking about making the Line of Control an international border, he said evasively that India has clarified its stand on the issue a number of times.
With regard to the Enron controversy, he said that the Maharashtra government and Enron were negotiating and he expected them to resolve the issue soon.
When informed that there is no one to buy power from the Dabhol Power Company, he said, "Well there is this difficulty and the other states are also concerned about high cost of power."
Asked about the Special Task Force set up by the state government to take action on the Srikrishna Commission report, he said, "Let the law take its own course."
Vajpayee also clarified that his statement that he felt there was a conspiracy angle in the killing of King Birendra and his family was not true and that he was misquoted.
Apolgising to the citizens of Bombay for his second operation at the Breach Candy hospital, he said, "I am giving trouble to the citizens and I apologise. Since I was operated on my left knee in Breach Candy, I have come here again. I hope that the citizens will shower me with their best wishes again. It is a small operation and I shall have to be in hospital for 10 days."
He also requested the media that they should not exaggerate his health nor should they underplay it.
Slide Show: The PM in Bombay
The PM's surgery: The full coverage
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