Peace process irreversible: India-Pak joint statement
New Delhi, April 18, IRNA
The much-awaited joint statement by the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf stressed that the "peace process is irreversible.
The current peace process has been going on for the past fourteen months.
Reading the text of the statement, the Indian Prime Minister said, during the discussions between the two delegations, all issues were discussed. The joint statement made it clear that the two parties were on the path of seeking a final solution to the vexed Kashmir dispute.
The statement condemned the efforts to disrupt the bus service between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad. Both sides also decided not to allow the militants to disrupt the bus service. Both India and Pakistan decided to increase the frequency of the bus service in near future.
A bus service would be started from Amritsar to Lahore and other Sikh pilgrimage centres in Pakistan in the near future, the statement said adding that the consulates in Mumbai and Karachi would be reopened.
On Siachen, the joint statement said that existing institutional mechanisms would be utilized to find solutions acceptable to both sides.
The two states also agreed on Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project and the need to facilitate the project.
On the basis of the statement, the two countries decided to facilitate more frequent meetings between divided families across the Line of Control in Kashmir.
Singh said, the two sides visualized greater prosperity in the region.
The statement further said business between India and Pakistan would receive boost in the near future.
Pakistan invited the Indian Prime Minister for a state visit in reciprocation of the mini summit called in honour of the visiting Pakistani delegation. The date of the visit by Manmohan Singh would be determined later though the invitation was accepted in principle.
News channels have already started branding the developments in the joint statement as "success".
The joint statement is a great step forward considering the fact that for the first time the two sides managed to avoid the contentious words like "cross border terrorism" and Indian "occupied" Kashmir in the draft. It also proved that the two sides pay due attention to the importance of economy in their bilateral relations.
::IRNA No.021 18/04/2005 12:15 --End
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