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Pakistan finalising proposal to open LoC
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October 20, 2005 23:55 IST
After claims by a senior Pakistan army officer in charge of quake relief operations that India has rejected President Pervez Musharraf's [Images] offer to open LoC for people from both sides to visit their kins, the foreign office tonight said Islamabad was finalising proposals to be forwarded to New Delhi.

Federal Relief Commissioner Major General Farooq Ahmed Khan took everyone by surprise in Islamabad by telling reporters that India has rejected Musharraf's proposal to open the LoC.

"It is regrettable that Pakistan's proposal to open the LoC was not accepted by India. The ability of the victims families to visit their beloved ones in times of extreme difficulties would be encouraging for our people.

In New Delhi, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna termed as "entirely baseless" Khan's remarks and said there has been no follow-up action by Pakistan so far to Musharraf's offer of free movement across the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir [Images] and India was awaiting suggestions for its practical implementation.

Foreign Office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam said Pakistan is yet to finalise its proposals on the opening up of LoC to India and the Foreign Office is still guided by the Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman's welcoming Musharraf's comments made on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz had told reporters Wednesday night after a meeting with visiting Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik that Pakistan would soon make a formal proposal to India on opening the LoC to facilitate movement of Kashmiri people to help in quake relief and rehabilitation.

"We take the last statement of the Indian spokesman welcoming our initiative," Aslam said.

She said the proposals are being finalised and would be forwarded to India soon but declined to give any specific timeframe.

Asked about General Ahmed's statement, she said he had reportedly referred to a news report quoting sources in the external affairs ministry.

Sources in Islamabad said it was extraordinary for General Ahmad, who was in charge of relief operations to comment on the issue being dealt through diplomatic channels of both the countries.

Complete Coverage: Tremors Across Borders

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