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MEA Spokesman's Statement on India-Pakistan talks

October 15, 1998
New Delhi

                   MEA Official Spokesperson's Statement on India-Pakistan Talks

In response to a question, the official spokesman said that India has always desired peaceful,
friendly and cooperative relations with Pakistan and for this purpose had urged Pakistan to engage
in a broad-based and comprehensive dialogue which moves the relationship forward over a broad
front. The dialogue would, inter alia, provide for a discussion on all outstanding issues including
Jammu & Kashmir. All Indian proposals for the composite dialogue process have included
discussions on Jammu & Kashmir. India has always desired that Jammu & Kashmir should be taken in a direct bilateral dialogue with Pakistan. The dialogue process, which will begin with Foreign Secretary's visit to Islamabad, has now become possible because India and Pakistan have agreed on the modalities of the dialogue on this basis.

The official spokesman further said that there was no question of India acting under international pressure and there was no place for any third party involvement in India-Pakistan ties. The international community has shared this view and has strongly expressed its desire that India and Pakistan should resolve all outstanding issues peacefully and bilaterally.