Wednesday, June 5, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

India rejects third-party mediation

Russian President Vladimir Putin invites India's Prime Minister
Russian President Vladimir Putin invites India's Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to negotiations in Almaty after the security summit on Tuesday. Putin told Vajpayee that Pakistan leader Pervez Musharraf had offered "serious positive signals" to end the tense military stand-off.

India's Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee shakes the hand of China's  President
India's Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee (L) shakes the hand of China's President Jiang Zemin in Almaty
on Tuesday. — Reuters photos

Almaty, June 4
India tonight categorically denied Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s claim that Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee had been invited by Russian leader Vladimir Putin to Moscow for talks to defuse the South Asian military stand-off, and rejected Islamabad’s demand for third-party mediation.

Mr Putin had accepted an invitation to visit India towards the end of the year, National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra told reporters, adding, “That is when the Prime Minister will be meeting the Russian President.”

Mr Mishra’s comments came in response to questions regarding a claim made by President Musharraf at a press conference here earlier that he had accepted an invitation to go to Moscow for talks with Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. Mr Putin had invited him and would invite Mr Vajpayee also, the Pakistani leader had said after a meeting with the Russian leader.

Rejecting any third-party mediation, Mr Mishra said issues between India and Pakistan had to be resolved bilaterally and the 1972 Simla Accord and 1999 Lahore Declaration provided a framework for that.

He also categorically denied that there had been any interaction between Mr Vajpayee and Mr Musharraf or at any level between India and Pakistan delegations which had been there to attend a 16-nation security conference.

Asked about President Musharraf’s stand that Pakistan could use nuclear weapons under “certain circumstances and situations”, Mr Mishra asserted that India would never be the first to use such weapons.

He termed as a “pure and simple lie” Pakistan President’s comment that no infiltration was taking place along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir and said India was also aware of the terrorist training camps which were operating in Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin informed Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee that he had been given “certain serious and positive signals” to defuse the ongoing Indo-Pak stand-off by Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf.

Mr Putin, who also met General Musharraf, candidly told the Pakistani ruler that he had the authority of his western colleagues to convey their concerns about the prevailing situation in the Indian subcontinent.

Meanwhile, India and Pakistan today blamed each other for the current stand-off on their border but Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee expressed willingness for an Indo-Pak dialogue provided President Pervez Musharraf fulfils his promise not to export cross-border terrorism.

President Musharraf urged India to return to the path of dialogue and negotiations but Mr Vajpayee made it clear in his address that New Delhi was willing to discuss all issues with Islamabad provided cross-border terrorism is ended.

The summit leaders also signed an ‘Almaty Act’ setting out CICA’s objective of enhancing cooperation through elaborating multilateral approaches towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia. PTI, AP

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