India replies to Musharraf's charges

India said it had done more than its neighbour to boost trade across the border.

india Updated: Feb 15, 2006 12:34 IST

A day after Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's remarks that his country cannot talk of trade and economic cooperation with India "when people are killing each other" at the border, New Delhi on Saturday said it had done more than its neighbour to boost trade across the border and was committed to peace in the region.

"We are committed to peace process. We had ratified the Safta. We started bus and rail services and extended most favoured nation status to them (Pakistan). But they did not reciprocate," Finance Minister P Chidambaram said at a meeting organised by CII and World Economic Forum.

Musharraf had charged India of not doing enough to resolve the Kashmir and Siachen issues. The President had prescribed an "out-of-box" solution for Kashmir and stated Pakistan can't talk of economic harmony when people are killing each other across the border.

"When we (Pakistan and India) are quarrelling, do you think we can trade together? Remove the cause of hatred and then everything can be resolved," Musharraf had said.

On Siachen, he had said, "we are killing each other. We are eyeball to eyeball." Though the SAARC nations signed an agreement for free trade in South Asia, it could not take off, as Pakistan is yet to ratify it.

Asked about the displaced people of Kashmir, Chidambaram said it was being taken care of. Some of the people have been settled in places like Delhi.

In a veiled attack to Pakistan for state-sponsored terrorism, Commerce Minister Kamal Nath said, "one should look at the nurseries of terrorism."

Though tourism was normal, it would have been much higher had there been no terrorist activities in the valley.

First Published: Feb 15, 2006 12:34 IST