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|April 25, 1999||
Political instability in India may derail Lahore pact: Sharief
The current political crisis in India will definitely affect the Indo-Pak peace dialogue as uncertainty continues over who India's next prime minister will be and whether previous agreements will be honoured, Pakistan Premier Nawaz Sharief said last evening.
Talking to newspersons in Lahore, Sharief said his recent talks with Atal Bihari Vajpayee might not be valid any longer due to a likely change in government.
"Though we have signed the Lahore declaration for promotion of ties between the two countries, I require a stable government in India to implement the agreement in true letter and spirit,'' Sharief said. It is difficult to ascertain who should be approached for negotiations until a stable government assumes office in India, he added.
He said Pakistan wanted a stable government in India that could take bold initiatives. Sharief said it is time that India and Pakistan resolved all outstanding issues since the atmosphere was conducive for ending their differences.
''We are ready to take initiatives but if there is no stable government in India to respond, there is going to be no real progress so far as peace process is concerned,'' he said.
Sharief said during his recent visit to Moscow, when he requested Russia to mediate between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue, it suggested that the issue be resolved through negotiations. ''I am not saying that Russia will mediate, but we have asked it to play its role,'' he added.
The Pakistan leader termed this "a very positive development'' since Russia has always put its weight behind India on regional issues and hoped that the new developments will help change Russia's diplomatic approach vis-a-vis the differences between India and Pakistan.
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