- DC Area
- Jersey Area
- Los Angeles
- New York
- SF Bay Area
- Earlier editions
- Cricket New!
- New To US
- India News
- US News
- Rediff Chat
- Rediff Bol
- Rediff Mail
- Home Pages
Pakistan has denied it has assured India that it will not raise the Kashmir issue at international fora.
Foreign Secretary Inam-ul Haque who visited Washington to meet senior Bush administration officials said Kashmir is the core issue where Islamabad is concerned and if there is to be any progress for normalization of relations with New Delhi, this issue would have to be addressed.
Speaking at a press conference at the Pakistani embassy, he acknowledged that the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) 'is a body which discusses economic cooperation' and that the SAARC charter 'excludes discussion of political issues'.
Haque, however, asserted that 'we have given absolutely no commitment to India that Kashmir will not be raised at international fora'.
Haque said that he 'emphasized' to his Indian counterpart Chokila Iyer 'the centrality of the J&K dispute for the normalization of relations between India and Pakistan'.
Contradicting a Pakistani foreign office statement, Haque said a meeting between Pakistan President Gen Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is indeed on the cards on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly session in New York in late September, but added that the ball is in India's court.
He accused Iyer of not honoring the confidentiality of their discussions during the SAARC meetings in Colombo and said the same thing had been done during the Agra summit.
At the press conference, Haque also expressed concern over the burgeoning military ties between India and Israel.
"Obviously, we have concerns about the massive acquisitions of military equipment by India, not only from Israel but also from Russia," he said.
Indo-Pak Summit: Complete Coverage
Back to top
Tell us what you think of this report