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Terror must end for ceasefire: PM

Musharraf was a person he could do business with, Singh said, while ruling out redrawing of borders.

india Updated: Sep 28, 2005 12:30 IST

Stating that the Centre would "look at anything", Prime Minister Manmohan Singhon Sundayindicated that an internal ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir may be considered if terrorist infrastructure is dismantled and violence stopped.

Terrorist infrastructure across the border must be dismantled and infiltration and violence associated with it must cease after which "we could look at anything", he said when asked if the situation on the ground in the state had changed enough for an internal ceasefire.

Musharraf was a person he could trust and do business with, Singh said maintaining that the borders could not be redrawn.

Singh, who arrived at Paris to a warm reception for a two-day visit before proceeding to New York, will have wide-ranging talks with French President Jacques Chirac on Monday on subjects including defence, civil nuclear energy, space and trade and investment.

India which has just announced a 2.2 billion dollar deal for the purchase of 43 Airbus aircraft for Indian Airlines, is likely to inform the French Government of its decision to buy six Scorpene submarines from this country at a cost of over two billion dollars. France is leading the consortium that builds Airbus aircraft.

When the Prime Minister was asked, ifhe had new ideas on Indo-Pak peace process ? "I think we have ideas," he responded before reaffirming that the borders cannot be redrawn. "But we must work together to make these borders irrelevant through people-to-people contacts, through greater trade, through discussions between the two sides of Jammu and Kashmir on mutual developmental issues. So, there are many possibilities," Singh said.

Asked about the specific issues he would discuss with Musharraf at the dinner he is hosting for the Pakistani leader in New York on September 14, Singh replied "there are many things to discuss".

The Prime Minister said his discussions with Musharraf would cover all elements in the composite dialogue. "All agenda items laid out at the end of my meeting with President Musharraf in April will be covered. Some progress has been made. The bus service between Muzaffarbad and Srinagar is now a reality.

"There are several other elements in that statement to which we have committed our two countries. We will review the progress and see what further can be done," he said.

"I have not changed my views," the Prime Minister responded when a questioner mentioned that last year he had stated Musharraf was a person he could do business with.

Asked if he had any disappointment in the way the peace process was going, Singh replied "I am looking forward to my meeting with President Musharraf. Pakistan has taken some steps but it is too early for me to say how effective they will be. We have to judge the situation on the ground."

The Prime Minister is meeting Musharraf over a dinner he is hosting for him on September 14 on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

About dialogue with Hurriyat Conference, he said he would be willing to have one more round of talks with the conglomerate at his level before deciding on at what level the further talks would take place.

It has been agreed that Hurriyat will tell the Centre the points they would like to discuss, he said.

First Published: Sep 11, 2005 21:37 IST