M A I N   N E W S

Pak weighs pros and cons of Indian proposals

Islamabad, October 23
Pakistan today began consultations within various government departments on the series of offers made by India to normalise bilateral ties before formulating a formal response even as top Kashmiri politicians cautiously welcomed the proposal of a bus service between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Interior, Transport, Fisheries and Foreign Affairs Ministries were involved in the consultations on the proposals, sources here said.

Pakistan officials admitted that an agreement to run a bus service connecting the two sides of Kashmir could lead to softening of the Line of Control and might open the floodgates for migration.

Former Prime Minister and President of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan said both countries should not insist on passport and visa requirements for Kashmiris to travel between Srinagar and Muzaffarbad and they should be allowed on the basis of their identity cards.

NEW DELHI: The Indian Government’s 12-point peace agenda was hailed by several countries, which hoped that these would lead to greater confidence and trust between India and Pakistan. The USA welcomed step in the series of proposals put forward by India to upgrade transportation links and people-to-people contacts. — PTI, UNI


Military balance must for talks, says Musharraf

Islamabad, October 23
Amid the peace overtures from India, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has said his country would strive to create a minimum credible military balance to prevent New Delhi from refusing to talk on issues including Kashmir.

Addressing troops at Pano Aquil, he said that Pakistan was following a policy of minimum credible deterrent in the conventional and nuclear fields, which had been quantified keeping in view the respective forces levels that would be maintained at all costs.

On no account would the balance of power in South Asia be allowed to be disturbed, he was quoted as saying by the official media here today.

He said that in view of Indian intransigence and refusal to engage in a meaningful dialogue for resolution of disputes between India and Pakistan, including Kashmir, it was this ‘no-win scenario’ for India which ensured peace in the region. — PTI

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