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'Indo-Pak relations can't be held hostage to J&K'

By K J M Varma in Islamabad
January 19, 2007 01:19 IST
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India said on Thursday that its relations with Pakistan cannot be 'circumscribed or held hostage' by a single issue like Kashmir and the two countries should address together global challenges being faced by them.

"We would not wanted to see our relations with Pakistan, a very important neighbour, are circumscribed to one issue or held hostage," Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Satyabrata Pal told a media get-together at the South Asian
Free Media Association.

He said the two countries face 'very serious and much broader global challenges' and they can work together.

Pal said the two countries made efforts to resolve 'Kashmir, which is self-evidently a very important issue'.

"Discussions are taking place. We hope eventually through these discussions and others we will come to peaceful
resolution of problems that confronted or bedevilled the bilateral relationship. While doing so the two countries meanwhile could collectively address global challenges faced by them," he added.

Pal said there are challenges like fighting poverty, economic development, improvement of public health and issues relating to World Trade Organisation.

For 1.5 billion people of both the countries, these challenges are going to define their lives, he said.

Pal said any country which ignored global challenges would suffer and left behind other countries in 21st century.

The subcontinent under the British rule missed the industrial revolution of the 19th century and suffered as a consequence, he said.

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K J M Varma in Islamabad
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