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End terror for talks, PM tells Pakistan
April 23, 2003 20:53 IST
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Wednesday said only an end to cross-border terrorism 'can open the doors for talks' with Pakistan on all issues, including Jammu and Kashmir.
Making a statement in the Lok Sabha on his two-day visit to Srinagar, he said, "I expressed the hope that a new beginning can take place between India and Pakistan.
"I said we have extended our hand of friendship. Let us see how Pakistan responds to this."
Vajpayee also referred to his speech at a rally in Srinagar in which he said that 'this hand of friendship should be extended by both sides. Both sides should resolve that we need to live together in peace'.
He said he also assured the people of J&K that the government wished to resolve all issues, both domestic and external, through talks.
"I stressed that the gun can solve no problem; brotherhood can. Issues can be resolved if we move forward guided by the three principles of insaaniyat [humanism], jamhooriyat [democracy] and Kashmirayat [Kashmir's legacy of Hindu-Muslim amity]," he said.
Vajpayee said that in the rally he congratulated the people of Kashmir for participating in the assembly election in large numbers.
He said he assured the people of the state that 'we have come here to share your pain and suffering. Whatever complaints you have, try to address them collectively. Knock on the doors of Delhi. Delhi will never close its doors for you. The doors of our heart will also remain open for you'.
Soon after the prime minister's statement, Pakistan Foreign Minister Mohammed Kasuri said the two countries would have to 'learn to trust each other'.
"We are committed to combating terrorism. If we want to resume relationship, let's not jump to accusations," Kasuri told NDTV 24x7 television channel over phone from Islamabad.
"There are people in Pakistan who blame RAW [India's Research and Analysis Wing] for monsoon failure.
"We should not assume that every violent incident in either country is handiwork of either RAW or ISI [Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence]."
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