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How a change of clothes hit Indo-Pak ties

November 13, 2003 02:48 IST
Last Updated: November 13, 2003 03:56 IST

It was President Gen Pervez Musharraf's decision to go in for change of clothes that eventually prevented India and Pakistan from signing a joint declaration at the end of the historic Agra Summit.

"President Musharraf went to his room only to change as both countries had agreed to the joint declaration. When he came back, the Indian mood had changed," Pakistan's Information Minister Sheikh Rashid told reporters in Delhi on Wednesday.

"I am not lying nor is President Musharraf in the habit of lying," he added.

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"Musharraf had gone to change so that he looked good in the photographs," Rashid said and added, "But next time, I think no Pakistani ruler will dare to change his clothes when such an important event is taking place."

When told that India, unlike Pakistan, was a democracy and even the prime minister needed to consult his cabinet colleagues, Rashid remarked, "(Atal Bihari) Vajpayee is no kid and he knows what he is doing."

Rashid, in India in connection with the third SAARC Information Ministers' Conference, expressed a desire to visit his ancestral home in Jammu and Kashmir.

"I am a native of Zaindar Mohalla in Habbakadal (a locality in Srinagar) and we have our ancestral home there. I wanted to go there but at the same time, I do not want to put my hosts in a difficult situation," Rashid said. He has faint memories of his home but no knowledge of where his relatives are.

However, the government has not received a formal request from Rashid in this connection.

During his visit to India for the Agra Summit, President Musharraf had visited his ancestral home in Daryaganj, Delhi.

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