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India, Pakistan talk Kashmir

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posted on Sep, 5 2004 @ 05:36 AM
PTI[ SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 05, 2004 12:38:35 PM ]

NEW DELHI: Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan on Sunday held tough negotiations on Kashmir and other outstanding issues even as Islamabad maintained that it was "not unifocal" and ready to discuss all matters for ushering in peace in the sub-continent.

Before going for talks, External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri said friendly cordial relations between the two neighbours were in the interest of both the countries.

"I have come with a positive frame of mind. We will review progress on all items of the Composite Dialogue Process," Kasuri told reporters.

Kasuri and Singh walked hand in hand as they posed for photographers but the Pakistan Foreign Minister's remark on Kashmir on Saturday evoking sharp reaction from India, which termed it as "unifocal", casts its shadow at the beginning of the crucial talks.

"We are not unifocal. Let me clarify that... We are ready to discuss all issues," Kasuri said, adding Pakistan wanted peace in South Asia for which "focus needs to be on combating issues which we can."

Insisting that Islamabad's position remained the same, he said "good relations with India are in the interest of Pakistan."

He hoped the two sides will have something "positive" to share after the two-day talks.

The Pakistani Minister said in the post-industrial era, the two countries had to face certain challenges together and some issues on which they needed to talk together.

Singh said India was keen to carry forward the dialogue process and noted that "good neighbourly, cordial and friendly relations was in our interest."

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