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India's response excludes core issues: Pakistan

K J M Varma in Islamabad | October 31, 2003 22:39 IST

Pakistan on Friday promised to implement all measures agreed to by India to improve bilateral relations.

It, however, said New Delhi should not 'obstruct steps' to provide 'some relief' to Kashmiris.

India, it added, should 'not misconstrue' its proposal for UN involvement in the Srinagar-Muzzafarabad bus service and offer of medical help to people in the state.

Foreign Office spokesman Masood Khan in a statement said, "Pakistan welcomes India's response to the proposals though it remains partial and once again tries to exclude core issues."

"India should not misconstrue steps proposed by I
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slamabad for the welfare of Kashmiris as well as modalities for Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service," the statement said.

"If India is serious it should not obstruct steps that may provide some relief to the Kashmiris trapped in a tragic situation," it said.

Khan, however, did not react to the specific point made by India that Islamabad should pay compensation to the victims of terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir.

"Pakistan urges India to reconsider and respond positively to the proposals made by Pakistan to promote confidence between the two countries and facilitate greater people-to-people contacts, including between Kashmiris," he said.

Khan said Pakistan believed India was 'predicating greater people-to-people contacts', including resumption of air links and Samjhota Express and introduction of Lahore-Amritsar bus service.

"By making progress on air links a precondition for movement on other fronts signals hesitancy and negative mindset on the part of India," he said.

At the same time he expressed Pakistan's willingness to implement all agreed CBMs.

He also reiterated Islamabad's willingness to respond positively to any proposal, which is 'unconditional, substantive and was aimed at the resolution of all outstanding issues, including the Jammu and Kashmir issue'.

"A genuine peace process would require an immediate resumption of a meaningful dialogue for the peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir issue along with other issues," he said.

"India should not stall the momentum towards abatement of tension by its refusal to peruse a composite dialogue and by making baseless allegations," he added.

Khan said Pakistan has noted with 'satisfaction' that instead of stonewalling all peace proposals made by Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali, India has shown willingness to hold talks on some of the issues included in the composite dialogue agenda as well as on measures that would restore the relationship between the two countries to the pre-December 2001 status.

"This, however, is a limited objective. Pakistan calls upon India to resume dialogue with Pakistan to resolve all outstanding issues, especially the issue of Jammu and Kashmir," he said.

Khan also urged the Indian government to delink its relations with Pakistan from its domestic politics and stop 'conducting diplomacy through the media'.       

"Pakistan would also urge India to eschew diplomacy through the media and undertake serious negotiations on the whole range of confidence building measures through official channels," he said.

Reiterating his oft-repeated allegations of  'repression and suppression' of Kashmir, Khan claimed that Pakistan's offer to assist Kashmiris was motivated by a 'genuine desire to alleviate the sufferings'.

He also took exception to India's assertion that Kashmir was part of India. "Kashmir is certainly not a  'particular region' of India as stated by the Indian spokesman," he said.

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