Tuesday, June 10, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Pak for unconditional talks

Islamabad, June 9
Accusing India of the delay in the commencement of peace talks between the two countries, Pakistan today said New Delhi should get its “act” together and “speak in one voice” to resume “unconditional” dialogue.

“The Indian leadership should put its act together and speak in one voice. We hear about the internal dissension about the normalisation of relations with Pakistan and that is worrying,” Pakistan’s new Foreign Office spokesman Masood Khan, who succeeds High Commissioner to India-designate Aziz Ahmad Khan, said.

Claiming that the Pakistani leadership had been “very constructive, forward looking and positive in its approach towards the resumption of dialogue”, he said, “unfortunately, we haven’t seen the same sort of tone from the Indian leadership”.

He also accused the Indian leadership of trying to introduce conditionalities before the commencement of talks.

“Let us resume talks and let us do so quickly. We are not going into modalities, the level and size of the table and so on. We are saying let get down to business and start talking to each other”, he said, adding the statements emanating from New Delhi had not helped the dialogue process.

About the resumption of air links with India, he said Pakistan had not attached any conditions for activation of air or rail links.

To a question, Mr Aziz Khan, who introduced Mr Masood Khan to the media, said he will soon be leaving for New Delhi to take up his responsibility as Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India.

Meanwhile, India today expressed surprise over Pakistan’s statement that it was disappointed with the pace of engagement between the two countries and regretted that Islamabad had still not responded to New Delhi’s query with regard to the resumption of air links. PTI, UNI


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