Navtej Sarna: There is a brief statement on the Indo-Pak civil aviation links talks held in Islamabad.
An agreed press release was issued in Islamabad today at the end of two days of technical level discussions
between India and Pakistan on resumption of civil aviation links. An agreement could easily have been reached.
It is regretted that this did not happen because of Pakistan’s negative approach and its attempts to bring
in extraneous issues.
What is this agreed press release?
There is an agreed press release issued in Islamabad by the technical teams together.
Which says what?
Which says that the technical level talks between Pakistan and India on resumption of civil aviation links
were held on August 27-28, 2003 in Rawalpindi in a cordial and business like atmosphere. A range of issues was
discussed in detail. The talks provided an opportunity for the two sides to understand each other’s
respective position. It was decided to continue the talks. New dates would be fixed after mutual consent.
You said Pakistan tried to bring in extraneous issues. What are these extraneous issues?
Well the details I have out of the talks, I have released to you.
Now that a new date has to be fixed means that this is going to be dragged on for a long time.
Well it says that new dates will be fixed after a mutual consent. The meeting has just ended today. Now they will have to discuss when to meet again.
Do you have any response to the latest situations in Nepal?
We have seen reports that the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists) have declined to take part in further
peace talks with His Majesty’s Government of Nepal. We are also concerned at the growing number of clashes
and violent incidents in various parts of Nepal, including attacks on political leaders. Any resumption of
armed hostilities would be unfortunate and would constitute a set back to the efforts for peace and stability
in Nepal, whose people have been victims of violence and insecurity for several years. Violence cannot provide
a solution to the problems Nepal is currently facing. Neither political nor economic progress can be achieved
by resuming armed conflict. A meaningful and durable political solution based on national consensus and
involving political parties has to be pursued by all concerned. India continues to believe that the principles
of multiparty democracy and constitutional monarchy are key for restoring stability in Nepal and a solution to
the difficulties facing Nepal needs to be found within this framework.
There is a report that Pakistan has released an Indian boy (Ranjit Kumar). Can you confirm this?
Yes, we have been informed that the boy you are referring to Ranjit Kumar is to be released on August 30th
at the Wagah border. He will be handed over by the Pakistani Rangers to the Border Security Forces.
Would you like to comment on the Washington Post report that Iran’s Nuclear programme was assisted by Pakistan?
I would not like to comment on this particular report, but Pakistan’s record as an inward and outward proliferator is well known.
Now that talks on North Korea is taking place amongst six nations. What is going to be the impact of this on the International scenario?
I think that’s a very wide question for this limited briefing.