Sunday, May 4, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Pak PM Jamali invites Vajpayee

Islamabad, May 3
Responding to India’s peace initiatives, premier Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali today formally invited Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to visit Pakistan and promised to announce confidence building measures to promote peace and security in the region.

A day after India and Pakistan decided to restore their full diplomatic relations by sending high commissioners to each other’s Capitals, a letter of invitation for Mr Vajpayee was handed over to Indian envoy T.C.A. Raghavan by the Foreign Office here.

The invitation followed a telephonic conversation US Secretary of State Colin Powell had with Mr Jamali during which the Pakistani leader said his country would “soon announce measures aimed at creating a congenial atmosphere and to promote peace and security vital for the South Asian region and its people.”

A Foreign Ministry statement said Mr Powell assured Mr Jamali that the USA would continue to make efforts to promote better understanding between India and Pakistan enabling them to resume their stalled dialogue to resolve their bilateral problems peacefully.

Mr Jamali informed Mr Powell about his invitation to Mr Vajpayee to visit Pakistan.

The Secretary of State appreciated Mr Jamali’s initiative to call Mr Vajpayee over the phone on April 28 and break the ice between the two countries, official media reported.

Mr Powell yesterday welcomed as “very, very promising” Mr Vajpayee’s decision to send a high commissioner to Pakistan and restore air links on a reciprocal basis. Pakistan reciprocated the gesture, saying that it would also send its High Commissioner back to New Delhi.

India withdrew its High Commissioner from Islamabad after the terrorist attack on Parliament House on December 13, 2001. Pakistan maintained its High Commissioner in New Delhi for a few more months before it was asked to recall the diplomat.

Mr Jamali told Mr Powell that he looked forward to the visit of US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage to Pakistan scheduled for May 7. PTI


Pakistan MPs to visit India

Islamabad, May 3
Twelve Pakistani parliamentarians will visit New Delhi next week for informal talks on improving ties between the two countries, Dawn has quoted the coordinator of the trip as saying. The Pakistani delegation, drawn from ruling and opposition parties, would leave on May 8 for talks with Indian parliamentarians and peace activists. The week-long trip was being organised by the Pakistan India People’s Forum, a non-official group comprising former diplomats, ex-military officials and peace activists from the two countries. ANI

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