'No change in Indian position on Siachen'
Defence Minister AK Antony said New Delhi was willing to negotiate on the issue with Islamabad.india Updated: Nov 26, 2006 22:50 IST
Ruling out any change of position on the Siachen issue, India on Sunday said Pakistan should authenticate troops positions on the strategic glacier so that it could be demilitarised.
"There is no change in our position (on Siachen)," Defence Minister AK Antony said on Sunday.
He said New Delhi was willing to negotiate on the issue with Islamabad but it should first authenticate the positions held by India.
"Pakistan must authenticate Indian position there," he told reporters on the sidelines of the 58th anniversary of NCC Day. Asked about Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid M Kasuri's comments that progress had been made with India on the issue, Antony said "We can have forward movement on it".
Antony's comments on the strategic defence position came a day after Kasuri insisted that a "lot of progress" had been made with India on the issue.
"Our position is clear. We understand that there has been a lot of progress (on Siachen) and it requires some meetings, and given the political will it should be resolved," Kasuri, who is on a three-day private visit to India, had said on Saturday.
Asked about the Pakistan Army's insistence that the country will not authenticate troop positions at Siachen, Kasuri refused to comment.
The Defence Minister said government will encourage private players to participate in defence related research in the country.
Apart from defence PSUs, private players can play a positive role on research in the defence sector, he said.
First Published: Nov 26, 2006 20:53 IST