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India welcomes General Kayani's statement on Siachen

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, April 19, IRNA -- India Thursday welcomed Pakistani Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani's remarks on resolving the Siachen issue and demilitarisation there and said the money spent on deployment of troops can be spent on development of the two countries.

'I am glad that our neighbouring country Pakistan is also realising the challenges and the economic problems of maintaining troops on the Siachen Glacier,' Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju told reporters in Hyderabad, capital of Andhra Pradesh state, PTI news agency reported.

Observing that the deployment of troops in glacial heights take an economic toll, he said both countries have their concerns.

'They have their concerns and we have our concerns but it does take an economic toll. This money can be better spent on development of both countries,' the minister said.

Official sources in New Delhi also termed the remarks as a 'positive development' since they are made by none other than Pakistan Army Chief, reflecting the readiness of the military to resolve the issues between the two countries.

'One has to see who has made the remark, when it is made and the place. All this is very positive,' they said.

Kayani, while visiting Skardu in Northern Pakistan yesterday, after the region was hit by avalanche resulting in deaths of a number of civilians and military personnel, had spoken in favour of resolving issues between India and Pakistan and their peaceful co-existence.

'All issues should be resolved and peaceful co-existence is very necessary for both countries. There is no doubt about that,' he had said, hoping that the Siachen issue is 'resolved so that both countries don't have to pay the cost.'

'There will be a resolution and we want that there should be a resolution (of the Siachen issue). There should be a resolution of Siachen and other issues,' Kayani said in response to questions during a rare media interaction.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80087341

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