Pervez breaks Siachen ice, will leave it alone
REUTERS[ SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2004 10:37:10 PM ]
Pakistani foreign ministry officials in Islamabad said that they could not confirm the report.
The two countries have discussed the Siachen dispute many times but India has been reluctant to vacate the peaks fearing that Pakistani troops at lower ground would move up and occupy the glacier.
The News also said that the two leaders had agreed to restore a hotline set up between the Pakistani President and Indian Prime Minister 11 years ago but never used.
The only regularly used hotline between the nuclear-armed rivals is between senior military officials.
Analysts said that the meeting between Musharraf and Singh had revitalised a flagging peace process under which the two countries had held a series of talks at foreign minister and senior official level this year aimed at building confidence.
Pakistan and India said that they wanted to resolve all their disputes, including the core issue of Kashmir, cause of two of their three wars since gaining independence from Britain in 1947.
In Jammu and Kashmir, an alliance of political separatist groups said that it would only consider resuming peace talks with the Indian government after getting a formal invitation.
The comments came a day after Home Minister Shivraj Patil said that the government would not attach conditions to dialogue on the region. But that offer was met with scepticism.
"Earlier also, they announced that they would hold unconditional talks with us but later they backed out," said Maulana Abbas Ansari, an official of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, an alliance of two dozen Kashmiri separatist groups.
"We'll wait for the formal invitation and discuss it," he said.
The talks, the first since the insurgency began, were launched this year by the previous government in New Delhi.
But the dialogue appeared to have broken down last month after the UPA government, which took power in May, insisted talks be held within the constitution, which says Kashmir is an integral part of India.
That position is not acceptable to the Hurriyat, which is seeking independence for Kashmir or merger with Pakistan.
Earlier, Patil had said in an interview that an invitation would be sent to Hurriyat leaders when he visited Kashmir next month.