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Pak willing to discuss Sindh-Rajasthan bus service

November 17, 2003 00:49 IST
Last Updated: November 17, 2003 00:50 IST

Shedding its reservations over India's recent proposal to operate a bus service between Sindh and Rajastan, Pakistan has offered to discuss the issue.

"The border may be re-opened through a dialogue for which India should come to the negotiation table," Foreign Minister Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri told reporters in Lahore on Saturday.

Earlier, Pakistan had said the proposal has to wait till the two countries begin a composite dialogue to settle differences on Jammu and Kashmir and other issues.

Besides this, India had also suggested a bus service between Srinagar and Muzzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and a ferry service between Mumbai and Karachi.

Pakistan appreciated increasing people-to-people contacts between India and Pakistan and agreed it could help better ties between the two countries.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan foreign office has said the increase in the number of officials in the respective high commissions was insufficient to cope with the demand for visas and suggested the two sides restore the diplomatic strength to 110.

Foreign Office spokesman Masood Khan said Pakistan had no objection to opening visa camps, as suggested by India, but insisted both countries would have to restore their diplomatic missions to the strength that existed before December 13, 2001.

India trimmed its diplomatic staff from 110 to 47 following an attack on Parliament on December 13, 2002. Recently, the two countries agreed to increase their staff strength to 55.

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