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Pak for free movement of people across LoC

Pakistan said Manmohan Singh's latest offer of a friendship treaty would help the peace process enter a new important phase.

india Updated: Mar 27, 2006 19:29 IST

Favouring simplification of procedures for freer movement of Kashmiris across the Line of Control, Pakistan on Monday said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's latest offer of a friendship treaty would help the peace process enter a "new important phase".

The Indian Prime Minister's speech (in Amritsar) "encourages us to believe that the peace process will be strengthened and enter a new important phase," Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said in a statement at a media briefing here.

The Prime Minister in his speech offered to Pakistan a treaty of Peace and Friendship and spoke about finding pragmatic, practical solutions to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute while suggesting that the two countries can work towards making the Line of Control irrelevant.

"Pakistan favours simplification of procedures for freer movement of Kashmiris across the Line of Control," the statement said.

It referred to President Pervez Musharraf's suggestion to open five points across the LoC after the quake last year and said Pakistan hoped that Singh's "public endorsement that people on both sides of the LoC should be able to move freely and trade will lead to immediate activation of the points".

On the peace treaty offer, Aslam "the ideas of non-aggression pact or a friendship treaty have been suggested in the past by both sides. The fact remains that the distrust caused by the persistence of problems and disputes have prevented these ideas from becoming a reality.

"This underscores the need for meaningful dialogue to address problems especially the Jammu and Kashmir issue," she said.

First Published: Mar 27, 2006 19:29 IST