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Pakistan announces truce along LoC

By K J M Varma in Islamabad
Last updated on: November 23, 2003 23:00 IST
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In a bid to improve ties with India, Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali on Sunday night asked the Pakistan army to observe ceasefire along the Line of Control from Eid, which is likely on November 26.

"I expect India will make a positive response to our announcement because without this our step will be incomplete," Jamali said in a televised address to the nation marking completion of his first year in office.

The announcement comes less than two months before the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation summit scheduled to be held in Islamabad in January 2004. India Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is expected to attend the summit.

Jamali said the event would "open a new chapter" in regional cooperation.


"Pakistan is interested to live in peace with India and is waiting for the participation of Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the summit," Jamali said, adding, "with strong political commitment, Pakistan and India could change the atmosphere of confrontation."


He said Pakistan is "aware that there are a lot of hardships and testing phases, but we think such steps should be taken which can help restore mutual confidence, so we can find new ways for a peaceful and just solution of the Kashmir issue".

On October 22, 2003, India had proposed 12 confidence building measures. The measures included resumption of cricketing ties, more buses to Lahore and a new bus service between Srinagar and Muzzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

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K J M Varma in Islamabad
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