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India, Pakistan agree to resume composite dialogue in Feb

January 06, 2004 15:01 IST
Last Updated: January 06, 2004 15:55 IST

India and Pakistan on Tuesday agreed to resume the composite dialogue process in February.

To carry forward the process of normalisation of relations, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee agreed to commence the process of comprehensive dialogue in February, External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha announced in Islamabad, reading out from joint statement issued by India and Pakistan.

"The resumption of the composite dialogue will lead to peaceful settlement of all bilateral issues including Jammu and Kashmir to the satisfaction of both sides," the statement said.

Both the leaders, who met here during the SAARC summit, agreed that constructive dialogue would promote progress towards establishment of peace, security and economic development.

According to the statement, Vajpayee said in order to take forward and sustain the dialogue process, violence, hostility and terrorism must be prevented.

President Musharraf 'reassured' the prime minister that 'he will not permit any territory under Pakistan's control to be used to support terrorism in any manner'.

"President Musharraf emphasised that a sustained and productive dialogue addressing all issues would lead to positive results," the statement said.

Asked whether New Delhi was convinced that level of violence in Jammu and Kashmir had decreased, Sinha said India had an 'assurance' from Pakistan and there was a 'certain situation on the ground on the basis of which we are proceeding'.

"There would have been no joint statement if we had no satisfaction," he said.

He asserted that whatever Indian side had said in Pakistan was done keeping in mind that 'we have to make our point at an appropriate time'.

"Whatever we are saying is after tying all loose ends. We have to say the right thing at the right place and at the right time," Sinha said. He added there should be no anticipation or speculation in this regard.

To a question about definition of terrorism, Sinha said it was not relevant in 'this context'.

National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra, who was also present at the press conference, cautioned that the joint statement should not be seen as a document of victory for one side or another.

"It is a win-win situation for all," he said. The document, he added, was a victory for peace and prosperity for people of both the countries and rest of South Asia.

Mishra said there was likelihood of cooperation between India and Pakistan to fight terrorism together.

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