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Sustained dialogue with Pakistan, says CMP

Source: PTI
May 21, 2004 21:52 IST
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Declaring that it will give 'highest priority' to building 'closer' relations with India's neighbours, the Congress-led government proposes to accord dialogue with Pakistan on all issues on a 'sustained basis' and 'pursue seriously' talks on the border issue with China.

A draft of the Common Minimum Programme (CMP), circulated among the coalition partners, said the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government supports peace talks in Sri Lanka that fulfill the legitimate aspirations of all linguistic and religious minorities within the territorial integrity and solidarity of the island nation.

"Dialogue with Pakistan on all issues will be pursued systematically and on a sustained basis," it said.    

The document said, "Trade and investment with China will be expanded further and talks on the border issue pursued seriously."

It said the UPA Government 'will give the highest priority to building closer political, economic and other ties with its neighbours in South Asia'.

The CMP draft said the new government will maintain the 'independence' of India's foreign policy stance on all regional and global issues even as it pursues closer strategic and economic engagement with the US.

It pledged to fully protect the national interest, particularly of farmers at all WTO negotiations.

"Commitment made earlier will be adhered to even as efforts are mounted to ensure that all agreements reflect our concerns fully," it said.

It added that the government would use the flexibility afforded in existing WTO agreements to 'fully protect' Indian agriculture and industry.

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