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India says no to cross-LoC mobile services

October 19, 2005 22:36 IST
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India turned down a Pakistani proposal for establishing cross-LoC mobile telephone linkages in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday but said direct telecom connections could be set up at Attari-Wagah border.

"We had received a Note Verbale from Pakistan wanting to establish mobile telephone linkages across the Line of Control. We have conveyed that communication linkages already exist through international satellite and undersea cable networks," External Affairs Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna said in New Delhi.

He said if Pakistan wanted to establish direct optical fibre communication, it could be best done at Attari-Wagah where the optical fibres of both the countries are close to each other.

Sarna said India had conveyed its readiness to assist in restoration of disrupted telecom infrastructure in earthquake affected areas in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

"Pakistan's foreign office said that it was grateful for the offer and would revert to us if any specific assistance was required," Sarna said.

The Pakistan foreign office said 40 per cent of the telecom infrastructure had been restored and the remaining problems were on smaller branch lines, he said.

Islamabad also said mobile phone companies had been given permission to operate in the area and these facilities were being set up, Sarna said.

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