October 1998 News

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Pakistan Not Seeking Third Party Option on Kashmir

1st October 1998
News Agencies

NEW YORK: "Pakistan is not seeking any third party involvement in bi-lateral talks with India on the Kashmir dispute scheduled to begin in middle of October" foreign minister Sartaj Aziz, said here on Tuesday. However, he hastened to add: "We would like United Nations and Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) to follow the progress of bi-lateral talks between the two countries". Responding to Indian prime minister's statement on Monday rejecting any third party involvement in talks on Kashmir dispute Aziz pointed out "there are different levels of involvements- there is mediation, arbitration and good offices." He said Pakistan agreed to open bi-lateral talks with India only when it agreed that they will be meaningful and with substance." We do not want dialogue for the sake of dialogue," he added. Mr Aziz said: "Without resolution of Kashmir dispute there can be no progress in normalizing relations between the two countries. We will use the good offices of the UN Secretary General to follow the progress so that no one backtracks on any progress made in the bi-laterals." On Monday Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee rejected any third party mediation in the Kashmir dispute and instead stressed that the bi-lateral talks between India and Pakistan on the basis of 1972 Shimla Agreement will resolve issues. Mr Vajpayee said "contrary to what some may believe, bi-lateralism works. It is intrusion by the third parties, however, well intentioned, that creates complications."


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