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Kashmir-related CBMs not under threat: Kasuri

Observing that the Indo-Pak peace process was not easy exercise, he said that it required patience and steadfastness.

india Updated: Aug 11, 2006 18:27 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Pakistan has said it saw no reason to feel that ceasefire with India along the Line of Control (LoC) and other Kashmir-related confidence building measures (CBMs) were "under threat" even though Foreign Secretary-level talks expected last month did not take place following the Mumbai blasts.

Terming the LoC ceasefire reached in November 2003 as one of the biggest CBMs, Foreign Minister Khurshid M Kasuri shrugged off 'doomsday scenario' being projected in the media here, saying: "I don't agree with the reports being circulated by the doomsday brigade".

Kasuri, who had a 45-minute meeting with Indian High Commissioner Shiv Shankar Menon at the Foreign Office on Monday, dispelled suggestions that ceasefire on LoC and other CBMs were under threat.

"Well, that's not my impression. I don't think at this point it is being feared. I have not heard from anybody responsible in the two countries talking about undoing what has been done so far," Kasuri told reporters here on Thursday.

Kasuri refused to comment on his meeting with the Indian High Commissioner whom he had apparently called to get a sense of the direction on the dialogue process.

Observing that the Indo-Pak peace process was not easy exercise, he said that it required patience and steadfastness.

However, he voiced disappointment at the fact that while both the countries had moved ahead in CBMs, there had been "no movement on conflict resolution".

Kasuri emphasised that there was a large peace constituency in both the countries and the peace process enjoyed bipartisan political support on both sides, according to a media report.

The foreign minister termed the tit-for-tat expulsion of Indian and Pakistani diplomats last week as "unfortunate" but was of the view that it should not interfere with the peace process.

In his response, Menon said "first, such euphoria was created and now this doomsday scenario. There's need for some sense of proportion" while observing that he failed to understand why the postponement of just one meeting had created such a reaction.

"We both have leadership that sincerely wants the peace process to succeed," he added. He remained non- committal to a question as to when India was expected to give new dates for talks.

First Published: Aug 11, 2006 18:27 IST