Saturday, July 28, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Report opposes PM-level talks
Make Pak bleed: Cabinet Sectt
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 27
A top-secret Cabinet Secretariat report is against holding talks with Pakistan at the highest level and stressed the need for India increasing its bargaining position with Islamabad for improving relations with that country.

Significantly, the report emphasises without elaborating that Pakistan also should be made to bleed, well-placed sources in the government told The Tribune here today.

The report says the government must take expeditious measures to improve the situation in Jammu and Kashmir politically, administratively and militarily.

It says that no talks with Pakistan could succeed unless India improved its bargaining position with Islamabad. In this context the report has suggested foreign Secretary-level talks with Pakistan as of now instead of top-level political contacts as there was no change in Islamabadís hardline attitude towards India.

This is particularly so because Pakistanís cross-border terrorism apparatus against India has gone into an overdrive after the Agra summit.

The 10-page report dated July 18 was submitted to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh. It gives a detailed analysis of the Ďfailedí Agra summit and focusses on the strategic imperatives for the consideration of the Vajpayee government.

The report is in three parts : (1) Implications of the Agra summit; (2) Lessons from Agra; and (3) The future strategy.

In para 8 the report says there is no change in Pakistanís hardline attitude towards India and argues that against this backdrop there was no use holding talks with Islamabad at the top political level.

The report makes it clear the Cabinet Secretariat is not against talks with Pakistan but strongly feels the talks should continue at the level of Foreign Secretaries at present.

It is learnt that the Vajpayee government is in agreement on this issue. This indicates that Indo-Pak dialogue henceforth should be held on the basis of a structured agenda which Islamabad has been consistently refusing.

A significant point mentioned in para 7 of the report draws pointed attention to Pakistanís Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and how it is all set to further increase its network of terror in this country.

Sources said the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has informally discussed the points raised in the report and some hard measures are on the anvil.


What secret report says

* No use of highest level talks with Pakistan as of now.

* Let there be Foreign Secretary-level talks first.

* India needs to take measures to improve Jammu and Kashmir situation politically, administratively and militarily.

* Pakistan also should be made to bleed.

* Agra has helped Musharraf and given him legitimacy.

* Pakistan has always been one-up over India in terms of propaganda except on one occasion: the 1971 war.

* ISI set to increase its terror network in India.

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