|HOME | NEWS | REPORT|
|November 12, 1998||
Vajpayee sees gain in Indo-Pak talks
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has said that contrary to projections in some quarters, certain areas of convergence had emerged in the current official talks with Pakistan on outstanding issues.
Addressing members of the parliamentary consultative committee attached to the external affairs ministry yesterday, Vajpayee said the progress was slow but steady, and persistence and perseverance are required to achieve concrete results.
Though he did not elaborate, the prime minister was apparently hinting at the possibility of India's request for import of power and sugar from Pakistan, besides the proposed Delhi-Lahore bus service and grant of 'most-favoured nation' status to India in due course.
When one member questioned the propriety of discussing Jammu and Kashmir with Pakistan when Parliament has adopted a resolution that the state is an integral part of the Indian Union, Vajpayee pointed out that India is also committed to the 1972 Simla Agreement which says the issue is still to be resolved.
The prime minister maintained that there is no contradiction in the Indian stand -- hinting, apparently, at the fact that the problem of the part of Kashmir occupied forcibly by Pakistan is still to be resolved.
When a member suggested that India should give Pakistan an ultimatum, Vajpayee said the issues are complex and no one expects any rapid movement.
But, he added, the very fact that the two countries are talking is significant. There may have been little progress, but patience will bring in results some day.
Regarding the American sanctions against India, Vajpayee said they had had no impact on the economy. The slowdown of the economy was for other reasons, he said.
On the question of signing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the prime minister denied that his government was pursuing a 'cloak-and-dagger' policy. He added that Parliament would be taken into confidence before a decision to sign the treaty is taken.
He said discussions were still on with the United States on meeting India's security concerns to facilitate New Delhi signing the CTBT.
Vajpayee reiterated that the nuclear tests were necessary in view of India's larger security interests.
Among those who attended the meeting were former prime minister I K Gujral, Pranab Mukherjee, K Natwar Singh, Shivraj Patil, and P A Sangma (all Congress), Dr Karan Singh (National Conference), Biplab Dasgupta (CPI-M), Joyanta Roy (Forward Bloc), and Dr Murasoli Maran (DMK).
SHOPPING HOME | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | HOTEL RESERVATIONS
PERSONAL HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | FEEDBACK