K J M Varma in Islamabad
Pakistan has said that President Pervez Musharraf is ready to meet Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee next month on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session.
"Pakistan is ready for the Musharraf-Vajpayee meeting in New York in September, Foreign Secretary Inam-ul Haq told the Pakistani media in Washington at the end of his two-day visit to the United States.
"But the meeting cannot take place if India is not interested," he said.
While Pakistan foreign office spokesman Riaz Mohammad Khan said on Thursday that no meeting between the two leaders was slated during the UN session, the Indian external affairs ministry spokesperson told reporters in New Delhi on Saturday that no decision had been taken on the meeting.
Pakistani daily The News said Indo-Pak talks had been one of the major themes in Haq's discussion with US officials.
In a press conference held at the Pakistan embassy in Washington on Friday, Haq said, "The Pakistani spokesman's statement about the unlikelihood of a Vajpayee-Musharraf meeting in New York should be read in the context of Indian response."
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