June 2004 News

No Third Party Mediation On Kashmir: Natwar

5 June 2004
The Pioneer

New Delhi: Asserting that there will be no room for third party mediation on Jammu and Kashmir, External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh has said the Manmohan Singh government would discuss all issues with Pakistan and ensure there would be 'no U-turns' in improving ties with Islamabad. 'The Simla Agreement states that all issues will be discussed including J and K. We have always said that the Simla Agreement remains the bedrock of our relations. We welcome the change in temperature,' Singh said in an interview published in the latest issue of English news magazine The Week. 'We will discuss everything - J and K, the nuclear question, opening of consulates in Karachi and Mumbai, people-to-people contacts,' he said, according to a release issued by the magazine. Singh said his only reservation was that 'while we have a democratic system, Vajpayee (former Prime Minister) invested everything on Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf. I am not sure if the Pakistan Army and the ISI are fully with him. I hope they are'. He said America has 'facilitated' a change of attitude in Pakistan but made it clear 'as far as J and K is concerned, there will be no third party.'

 

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