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Deal on Muzaffarabad bus likely

By Hamid Mir in Islamabad
Last updated on: February 16, 2005 11:06 IST
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The Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan, Shiv Shankar Menon, on Tuesday said that "something very positive will come about Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service in the next few days".

As External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh began his Pakistan visit, all attention was focused on whether New Delhi and Islamabad would be able to resolve the differences regarding the bus service.

The Indo-Pak peace process will get a huge push if Singh and his counterpart, Khurshid A Kasuri, can agree on starting the service -- a longstanding demand of Kashmiris.

Kasuri told this correspondent: "We are not in a position to start the bus service within days, but I hope that we will agree on an agreement in principle to move ahead."

"Both India and Pakistan have decided to show some kind of flexibility to save the peace process, which is going on since last few years," he added.

It is also learnt that both the countries have agreed on some modalities through backdoor channels and details will come out in the next 24 hours.

Menon made it clear that "Washington or London have not played any role in forcing us to announce some big decision. Both the countries have reached on a breakthrough on their own".


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Hamid Mir in Islamabad