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Pak ready to talk but India must agree, says Kasuri

Pakistan wants to dance to the music of peace, but India is not yet a willing partner, Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri said.

india Updated: Jan 03, 2004 20:37 IST

Pakistan wants to dance to the music of peace, but India is not yet a willing partner, Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri said while briefing mediapersons in Islamabad on Saturday.

In reply to a question if peace in South Asia was possible without India and Pakistan beginning a bilateral dialogue, Kasuri quipped "It takes two to tango".

Pakistan was keen to talk with India any time, anywhere but "it needs a partner", he said while talking to over 200 journalists from SAARC nations at the SAARC media centre.

Almost all the questions related to India and Pakistan rather than the region, or the five other countries of the grouping.

Kasuri, in his capacity as chairperson of the SAARC foreign ministers grouping, tried to steer clear of the controversial issues but it was a difficult task as every question related to either India-Pak bilateral meetings or Kashmir.

He said that at Agra, the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan had drawn up a draft, but it had to be shelved. He further said that New Delhi now wanted to go beyond the scope of that draft resolutions.

Kasuri said, "some of the formulations in Delhi have gone beyond Agra. If a certain situation existed in Agra then why should India add to it." In every sentence which sounded complex but was carefully worded he said, "Neither country should change the formulations which originated from the internal dynamics of that declaration which was never made public."

Kasuri expressed the desire that his country did not want "hopes to be dashed to the ground" especially since both countries have taken confidence building measures and want normal relations.

He also hoped that a bilateral meeting would take place at the prime ministerial level.

First Published: Jan 03, 2004 20:37 IST