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Pakistan army evades comments on contacting Indian PM

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, April 25,IRNA -- Pakistan military spokesman has evaded comments on media reports that Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had established contact with the country’s army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani through an 'unofficial envoy.'

The army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas told a group of visiting Indian journalists that he would evade comment. He did not deny the report.

The London-based The Times newspaper reported yesterday that Singh had appointed an 'unofficial envoy' to make contact with General Kayani.

The media report contended that the talks through a back channel had encouraged Britain and the US to believe that competition between India and Pakistan for influence in Afghanistan could be better managed during efforts to start a peace process.

When asked if he is denying the British newspaper report, General Abbas again said he would not offer any comment.

The Indian Prime Minister's Office has meanwhile rejected as “false” the media report that the Indian Prime Minister had contacted Kayani before a meeting between the premiers of India and Pakistan on the sidelines of the cricket World Cup semi-final at Mohali last month.

'We have seen media reports quoting a British newspaper saying that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh contacted Pakistan Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani before the Mohali meeting between the two Prime Ministers. The report is false,' PM's Media Advisor Harish Khare said in a statement.

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