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Advani may take up arms sales
to Pakistan with Britain


H S Rao in London | June 14, 2003 21:56 IST

India's Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani, reaching London on Sunday after his visit to the United States, and Pakistan President Pervez Musharrafon his way to Boston will cross each other's path on Tuesday.

During his four-day visit at the invitation of British Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, Advani will have wide-ranging talks with Prime Minister Tony Blair and other leaders on international and bilateral issues with the focus on terrorism, Indo-Pakistan relations, and the situation in Iraq.

"It is possible the 1 billion Hawk [advanced jet trainer] deal will figure in the discussions," a spokesman of the foreign and Commonwealth office told the Press Trust of India.

While Advani will have discussions with Blair on Monday, Musharraf will meet the British prime minister a day later.

Besides Blair, Advani will have talks with Prescott, Home Secretary David Blunkett, and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.

Though no detailed itinerary has been decided, one of the issues that will figure prominently in his talks with the home secretary is Britain's arms sales to Pakistan, a home office spokesperson has said.

Advani will apprise the British leaders about India's fresh peace initiative with Pakistan and the need to end Pakistan-sponsored cross-border terrorism in Kashmir before resumption of a dialogue between the two countries.


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