PM Hinges Saarc Meet On End To Cross-Border Terror

Shimla, December 1: | Updated: Dec 2 2002, 05:30am hrs
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee today said he could consider attending next months Saarc summit in Islamabad provided Pakistan puts a complete halt to cross-border terrorism before the event is held.

Asked about the possibility of his attending South Asian Association for regional Corporation (Saarc) summit, he told a press conference here that a thought can be given to it if there is a complete halt to cross-border terrorism before the dates of the summit.

What is the use of going to Pakistan for Saarc meeting when Pakistan is not prepared to talk on any issue except Kashmir, he said.

Vajpayee said Kashmir was a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and not something to be discussed during Saarc meetings.

The Prime Minister said Pakistan has not acted on recommendations regarding economic cooperation agreed on in previous Saarc meetings.

He said he did not see any change on Islamabads stand towards India following installation of a new government in Pakistan whose Prime minister Mir Jafar Ullah Khan Jamali has made it clear that there will be no change in its Kashmir policy.

Referring to the release of detenu in Jammu and Kashmir, the Prime Minister suggested the setting up of a screening committee for the purpose and said individual cases should be carefully examined.

Vajpayee said there had been some decline in infiltration from Pakistan and what was being debated was that how much was the decline.

He said there was no differences on the issue of decline of infiltration between the defence ministry and the external affairs ministry.

Referring to the forthcoming visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Vajpayee said relations between India and Russia were gaining strength and Russia supported our view on important issues like terrorism and has the same stand on it.

He said there was greater cooperation between the two countries on economic and defence-related issues and these issues would prominently figure in his meeting with Putin.