Public Diplomacy Public Diplomacy

The Summit

July 14, 2001

The Summit


Statement and Verbatim Record of Press Conference of Shri Jaswant Singh, External Affairs and Defence Minister
17 July, 2001- Agra


Statement

  • At the invitation of Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the President of Pakistan H.E. General Pervez Musharraf visited India on 14-16 July, 2001.
  • In keeping with his abiding vision of good Neighbourly relations between India and Pakistan, the Prime Minister had invited President General Pervez Musharraf to walk the high road of Peace and reconciliation.Our commitment to that noble objective, upon the attainment of which, rests the welfare of many, is not transitory.It is that commitment, which was demonstrated at Simla, in Lahore and recently during President General Pervez Musharraf’s visit.
  • Significant CBMs that were announced prior to President Musharraf’s visit would be fully implemented on our part.It is our conviction that, when put in place, they will make an important contribution to our relations.
  • During his visit, the President of Pakistan had extensive discussions with our entire leadership. These included three rounds of one-on-one meetings with the Prime Minister and an hour-long farewell call prior to his departure yesterday night.There were also detailed discussions during delegation level talks.All these meetings were marked by cordiality and candour.They provided an invaluable opportunity to both sides to understand each others’ view points, concerns and compulsions.
  • Our negotiations for an agreed text of a document were seriously pursued.There were long hours of discussions at official and political levels.During these negotiations India did not shy away from any issue.In keeping with the confidentiality, which is necessary for these negotiations, and the maintenance of which is essential for the future of bilateral relations themselves, it would not be proper to go into details.However, it needs asserting that during the negotiating process, India fully respected all established international norms.As a mature and responsible democracy, we negotiate to improve bilateral relations with our neighbours, not to indulge in public relations.
  • We are of course, disappointed that the two sides could not arrive at an agreed text. It will not be a breach of confidentiality to clarify that this was on an account of the difficulty in reconciling our basic approaches to bilateral relations.India is convinced that narrow, segmented or unifocal approaches, will simply not work. Our focus has to remain on the totality of relationship, our endeavour to build trust and confidence, and a mutually beneficial relationship even as we address and move forward on all outstanding issues, including Jammu & Kashmir: building upon the existing compacts of Simla and Lahore.
  • It was also made abundantly clear to the Pakistan side during the visit, that the promotion of cross-border terrorism and violence are unacceptable and must cease. Let there be no illusions on this score: India has the will and resolve to defeat all such challenges.
  • We will pick up the threads from the visit of the President of Pakistan.We will unceasingly endeavour to realise our vision of a relationship of peace, friendship and cooperation with Pakistan.

As this text, ladies and gentlemen of the press, will be shortly with all of you, I wish to simply add that on these three broad areas, which is, a unifocal approach by Pakistan, which conflicts with the concept that we abide by, that relationship has to be broad-based or spaced by an approach which was dictated by the impulse that unless the issue of Jammu and Kashmir is made central there will be no progress on any other aspect.We do not believe that bilateral relations between India and Pakistan ought to, or can be held hostage by any single issue. We believe in the totality of approach which addresses all issues. As we move along improving bilateral relations we will continue to address the issue of Jammu and Kashmir as well.

The second aspect is relating to cross border terrorism and violence is unacceptable to India. I might refresh your memories, ladies and gentlemen of the press, that even during the Lahore visit on the eve of which we had experienced, if you would remember, the killing of 22 innocent civilians in Jammu, we had still persisted with our endeavour and Pakistan had then found it possible to announce with India, its complete opposition to terrorism and rejection of it. That was the second difficulty.

The third is that we continue to believe that every compact, or agreement, or effort that has preceded the present effort cannot be negated, rescinded, or wished away. That is why we made it clear and there is a reference here that the effort at Agra was a continuation not simply of the Lahore process but also as a building upon the foundations that were laid by Shimla. It is that central objective which again had some difficulty in being accepted by our distinguished visitors. These were the three broad areas.

I am, of course, in my colleague Joint Secretary (Publicity)’s hands and I will endeavour to answer all questions that you might have, subject of course to the confidentiality that must always mark discussions between Heads of Government and Heads of State, and subject also to the fact that I actually work in Delhi and not in Agra and I must go back and start working.I have an aeroplane to catch which is really an aeroplane that has to take back high dignitaries and I do not want to keep them waiting.So, as Nirupama has said, we have an hour and a quarter.I am in your hands Nirupama, and she is in your hands. I do not mean physically.

Question (Ms Pamela Constable, Washington Post):What is the likelihood that Prime Minister Vajpayee will still accept the invitation from General Musharraf to visit Pakistan, and how would you characterise the atmosphere and the tone of the talks as they ended last night, compared to the cordial atmosphere in which they began on Saturday?

Mr Jaswant Singh: There is an invitation that has been extended to Prime Minister Vajpayee. He has accepted that invitation. That invitation and its acceptance remains in place. So far as the atmosphere of departure is concerned, naturally it was marked by some disappointment on both sides. But in the totality of India-Pak relations, I am not disheartened by any one single incident to take that as the defining incident and treat that as a kind of fixed mark for ever.

Question (Mr Ramesh Bhan, UNI):Was President Musharraf stopped from addressing apress conference yesterday?

Mr Jaswant Singh: I must correct this because it is a matter of, for me personally, very great regret that my distinguished colleague and officer of the Ministry of External Affairs received very uncivil treatment. I must put it on record, it is my responsibility that she was so subjected and I really wish I knew that.I am very sorry Nirupama, I want to publicly apologize to you because I am responsible for your welfare as a Minister. It is a matter of very great regret to me.

I must clarify abundantly that as a visiting Head of State, Head of Government, we did not stand in the way of, whenever General Musharraf or anyone else from the Pakistan delegation wished to meet the media, have a press conference in whatever fashion at whichever place. It is not we that stood in the way of General Pervez Musharraf.Even though the whole thing trod very close to negotiating through press, we did not at any stage choose to do so because that is not how discussions or negotiation between high dignitaries of State is ever conducted or can ever be conducted. So far as denying an opportunity to His Excellency General Pervez Musharraf sahab to meet the press last night, the question does simply not arise.There was an original intent that should an agreement or should an agreed text of a document be reached, then of course there will be a joint press conference. As the evening progressed it became evident that this was becoming more difficult to achieve. Thereafter I think, if I am not mistaken, around 9:30 or so at night - I might be in error on the exact time of it but roughly at that time -a request was received that General Musharraf, after the farewell call, would like to meet the press in Hotel JP Palace.The security requirements accompanying General Pervez Musharraf mandate that 90 minutes’ notice be given for any press conference or any meeting with the press to be held. We were given a departure time and it was simply not practical, as dictated by security, to have an impromptu press conference in Hotel JP Palace. It was not the Government that stood in the way, it was a security consideration and the practicality of holding a press conference at such short notice which is really the aspect of it.

Question (Mr Narayanan, All India Radio): How close did you come to an agreement yesterday?There are reports that you almost clinched an agreement but India backed out of it later on.

Mr Jaswant Singh: I am not going to engage in the game of who backed out from what. It is not proper for me to go into that exercise.Complex discussions and negotiations of this nature always hang by a thread as it were. We made every effort to arrive at an agreed text.I must place on record that I received all cooperation and understanding from my distinguished and able counterpart His Excellency the Foreign Minister of Pakistan. But I do not want to say how close we were or how far we were because when it comes to issues of principle, it is not possible for India to treat principles as being close, or to compromise with them in any sense.

Question (Mr Soumya Bandopadhyay, Pratidin): At yesterday’s breakfast meeting President Musharraf had compared Kashmir with Palestinia. At the same time he had made reference to actions of India in Bangladesh. What do you think about it?

Mr Jaswant Singh: I do not want to comment on the views held and expressed by General Pervez Musharraf sahab at that breakfast meeting. The original request that had come to us was that he would like to meet the senior Editors, -if I understand right, I do not want to be faulted on detail because I necessarily do not go into all details – that it was off the record meeting and we facilitated such a meeting. The views the he holds are his views. Of course, we do not agree with them.

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Question (Seema Guha Times Of India):I just wanted to know what happened during the farewell call. What was the mood like of President Musharraf and the Prime Minister?

Mr Jaswant Singh: What happened during the farewell call? I regret very much that it is not up to me to disclose what was discussed between two Heads of Government. What was the mood like? As I have already explained, the mood was reflective.

Question (Mr Vijay Naik, Sakal Papers):I just want to know that yesterday in the briefing by Pakistani side, they said that some of the Ministers objected to the points which were in the document and, therefore, the document or the declaration could not be arrive at.

Mr Jaswant Singh: Please repeat that.

Question (Mr Vijay Naik, Sakal Papers):The Pakistani side after the meeting briefed their own press and said that some of the Ministers did not confer with the points which were there in the document or the declaration and, therefore, the declaration could not be signed and that they were disappointed. We were also told by her that the Indian Government is also disappointed. Was it a fact that we objected to certain points which we did not agree.

Secondly, I just want to know why Indian Government actually gave these points which were raised by Shri Vajpayee in the first meeting with Mr Musharraf after 24 hours to the press here. They could have been given immediately after he made the points.But why did we delay? When Mr Musharraf went on addressing the press conference, we received the speech of Mr Vajpayee after 24 hours.

Mr Jaswant Singh: The first part of the question, for those of you that have not heard it, is ‘were there any differences in the Indian delegation, particularly amongst the ministerial colleagues of mine in regard to the text of the document that was being discussed?’ The second part relates to, ‘why was Prime Minister Vajpayee’s statement in the plenary held back and not issued until almost 24 hours after it was made?’

To the first part about differences, let me set all your minds at rest. At a feverish pitch good friends in the media imagine all kinds of occurrences. Please do not let your fever rise to such levels. There were no differences between the ministerial colleagues that constituted the delegation. This is a canard which I refute with all emphasis.It is a absurdity. These are my distinguished colleagues in the Cabinet. To suggest that we were working at cross purposes is really to belittle the high purpose which has inspired all my ministerial colleagues in this task of finding an answer to the complex issue of India-Pak relations.

On the second aspect relating to ‘why was Prime Minister Vajpayee’s opening statement in the plenary held back, it was done for the obvious reason which I have specified.India does not believe that discussions or negotiations between two Heads of Government are ever or can ever be conducted in public or through the press.We abided by that impeccably. However, when we found that there was a kind of approach from the other side of engaging with the media as an additionality to discussion, to which aspect I have referred in my opening statement, it was found necessary that for the sake of the public of India the essence of what Prime Minister Vajpayee had emphasised and said be made also known to everybody.

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Question (Ms Arusa Alam, Pakistan Observer): You have very forcefully raised the so-called cross border terrorism issue. Not long ago your own Chief of Army Staff and authorities in Jammu and Kashmir have admitted that the LOC has been very quiet. In the past Indians have been alleging that Pakistani troops fire and under the firing the infiltration takes place. When you have admitted yourself that LOC has been quiet for the last seven months, how can you blame Pakistan for cross border terrorism at this point? First of all, why did cross border terrorism became the bone of contention in this historic Agra summit?

Mr Jaswant Singh:I must answer both these points. As it happens, I have the honour to be the Defence Minister of India as well. So, I do not have to go simply by what my gallant Chief of Army Staff says.I do know what is happening on the Line of Control. It is not a question of timing: it is a question of clearly asserting that one of the beneficial consequences of the peace process that was launched by Prime Minister Vajpayee on the 23rd of November last has been relative quiet on the Line of Control. There is secondly an illusion, or a misapprehension which is in fact tacitly admitted in your question itself that cross border firing across the LoC was engaged in by Pakistan to facilitate infiltration. Infiltration is, of course, facilitated by that but it continues, notwithstanding the relative quiet that prevails. It is our hope that that achievement will continue.

Question (Mr Jayakrishnan Sify):You have outlined three points which you said are the difficulties between the two sides. General Musharraf had taken up a point where the Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Sushma Swaraj had made some remarks. He had objected to that. How much of that was a factor, or was that a factor at all?

Mr Jaswant Singh: I must clarify this again. I have heard reports that my good friend and distinguished colleague in the Cabinet, the Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Shrimati Sushma Swaraj somehow spoke on her own as it were, and was not supposed to do so, and all kinds of other assumptions are made about her. She is the Minister of Information and Broadcasting of the Government of India.When she speaks, she speaks with the authority of the Government of India. There is no question of the Minister of Information and Broadcasting speaking out of turn, for that matter any Minister speaking out of turn, on matters of high policy. As to whether that had an affect on the discussions, negotiations, etc., - not at all because after all what Sushmaji pointed out were aspects of what is public knowledge and were aspects that were emphasised by the Prime Minister subsequently also.

Question (Ms Geeta Bajaj, Eye On Asia, USA): Mr. Minister, despite several wars and decades of hostility, India and Pakistan have been successful in hammering out the Shimla Accord in 1972 and the Lahore Declaration in 1999. At both times there was a democratic leader in Pakistan.Now, many of us got a flavour of the offensive, straightforward strategy of General Pervez Musharraf on television yesterday.There was also an expectation that because he is a dictator he will be able to deliver in case he does hammer out an accord with India. To what extent do you believe, Mr. Minister, that the fact that he is a dictator and he is used to getting his way perhaps got in the way or had an influence on the result of the Summit? Could you share your views with us in terms of one-on-one kind of discussions at the delegation levels, if that aspect came through. I mean, whatever you can share with us.

Mr Jaswant Singh: Thank you very much for your long thesis. It is more a thesis than a question. Please understand that it is not for me to comment on the internal arrangements that Pakistan chooses to have for itself. I am certainly not going to engage in a theoretical exercise of who is it better to deal with or negotiate with, one or other variety of governance.

Question (Mr Jayant Ghoshal, Bartaman Patrika):Do you think that yesterday’s breakfast meeting was a critical point that destroyed the atmosphere of the Summit? Secondly, since you are the Defence Minister also, do you apprehend escalation of violence again on the border in Jammu and Kashmir? Yesterday also incidents took place.

Mr Jaswant Singh: On this much beaten about question of breakfast press meet, press interview by His Hxcellency General Pervez Musharraf sahab, I have already replied. When we are seized in complex negotiations, the objective being the high purpose of lasting peace, amity and goodwill between India and Pakistan, then certainly we firstly do not and cannot negotiate and discuss through the media, much as you might, all ladies and gentlemen of the press, like it. Insofar as the other aspect of incidents on the Line of Control go, I did say that there is relative peace on the LoC. I did not say there is total peace. These incidents happen.It is regrettable. We deal with the incidents as they arrive.

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Question (Mr Vinod Sharma, Hindustan Times):Since last evening we have been hearing from Mrs. Rao’s counterpart on the Pakistani delegation that the draft agreement, the so-called Agra Declaration or whatever, was discussed and agreed between the two Heads of Delegation and between the two Foreign Ministers and at the eleventh hour it was sabotaged or discarded or whatever by a hidden hand. That is the statement coming from the counterpart of the spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs. What do you have to say about this? Rashid Qureshi speaks for the President of Pakistan and he has been making these statements. Would you agree that right from the word go, be it in sartorial terms or be it in diplomatic terms, Pervez Musharraf treated this Summit as a media event to score certain media mileage over India?

Mr Jaswant Singh: In both the aspects, I do not wish to comment on His Excellency General Pervez Musharraf sahab, the President of Pakistan, at all. So far as the official spokesman of the Government of Pakistan is concerned, I am sure you will understand that it is not for me to engage in rebuttals, contradictions, clarifications or in any kind of bandying of words with the official spokesman. I refuse to engage in that kind of exercise – "The official spokesman said this, what do you have to say?” The official spokesman will deal with it.

Question (Mr Satish Jacob BBC): Prime Minister Vajpayee had been invited to Pakistan and we were told that he had accepted the invitation? Will he be going to Pakistan, and how soon?

Mr Jaswant Singh: I think that was one of the first questions asked, if I am not mistaken by Pamela Constable and I have already answered it. The invitation was extended by His Excellency, the President of Pakistan.The Prime Minister of India has accepted that invitation.That fact remains in position. The dates of the visit, the convenience of the visit, etc., is now a matter of diplomatic arrangements and that will be dealt with in due time.

Question (Mr Imtiaz Gul, The Friday Times, Lahore):You are calling Pakistan’s insistence on the centrality of Kashmir as a unifocal approach. But, as we understand, India is also pursuing almost the same approach by predominantly emphasising on the issue of cross-border terrorism. With what expectation did you invite General Musharraf? Did you expect that he would be giving in on this issue as he described that the Indians are not accepting it as a dispute?

Mr Jaswant Singh: I must clarify this.There are two aspects of the question.Just as Pakistan is fixated upon the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, the distinguished questioner has suggested that we are fixated upon cross-border terrorism as the only issue. No.Let me correct this. It is one fo the issues. It is a very imprtant issue. I had made clear in my prepared text that the two approaches differ here. Pakistan’s approach is that unless the issue of Jammu and Kashmir is addressed nothing else will happen. India believes that in the totality of relationship between the two countries, all issues should be addressed simultaneously which is what really the composite dialogue process is all about. We believe and we continue to believe that as we progress in increasing confidence and trust, and movement of people between our two countries, there can and will no doubt be movement in regard to the issue of Jammu and Kashmir as well. There was a second part of the question which was relating to the expectation. So far as expectations are concerned, yes, certainly the invitation was inspired by the expectations of not the suggestion being that anyone should abandon the fixed positions of principle. Not at all.But the expectation was that there will be accommodation, understanding and movement forward.

Question (Mr Chandan Mitra, Pioneer):Jaswantji, the build up to the Summit was not exactly propitious with a series of interviews being given by President Musharraf, which were fairly belligerent in tone. From your response also when you had to clarify a number of points, it was very clear that both countries were fairly determined to stick to their respective positions on the eve of the Summit. So, looking back at this kind of build up and the fact that both countries were fairly adamant on these two approaches that you spoke about, do you think the Submmit was held prematurely, and that there was inadequate preparation, and that it would have been better if the preparations had happened at the level of officials and some of these key issues sorted out before the two leaders actually met?

Mr Jaswant Singh: So far as the first part, Chandan, your suggestion that I was belligerent in …

Question (Mr Chandan Mitra, Pioneer):I did not say you were belligerent, Mr. Minister.

Mr Jaswant Singh: But then I am glad that you do not think I was belligerent.

As to the press interviews that General Pervez Musharraf sahab chose to give prior to visiting India, surely that is his choice. It is his determination and we do not at all wish to comment on that except to say what I have in my press statement that it is our belief, that we remain committed to it, that when it comes to discussions on bilateral and international issues, even if it did not involve Heads of Government and Heads of State, even if it involves officials of countries, we shall not negotiate through the media. That is our commitment. I was very severely commented upon by a number of friends in the media that whereas in Pakistan there was almost two or three media events per day Mr. Vajpayee did not choose to give even one interview, and that I was remaining silent. I was not remaining silent because I had lost my speech! I was remaining silent because it is not proper for me to keep on engaging in answers to questions that arise, or rebuttals.That is not how diplomacy is conducted.When I chose to speak, it was only because a great many issues of importantce to India were suffering through default. It was an obligation that I had to the nation and to the Government to make clear certain issues.

As to whether there should have been preparation, we did suggest to Government of Pakistan that firstly let there be an exchange of officials prior to the Summit.We volunteered that we will send the officials of the Ministry of External Affairs to Islamabad to sit with their counterparts to agree upon an agenda, and to prepare what is ordinarily done before such summits preparatory documents for the summit, so that all the preparatory work which is routine and which is normally done before such meetings is taken care of.Consistently we received a response from Pakistan that they did not want such a visit to take place, that they did not want officials to visit Islamabad, that so far as the agenda is concerned they did not wish to fix an agenda in advance, that it be left to the two Heads of Governments to determine the agenda when they meet. As hosts, we could only request our distinguished guests up to a point. We kept on uptill the last day almost, suggesting that it is better if there is preparatory work done and an agenda is determined. I cannot dictate: I can only request.

Question (Mr Christopher Kramer, Sydney Morning Herald): Good Morning, Mr. Singh.What are we left with in terms of India-Pakistan engagement?There have been a number of suggestions about the kinds of meetings and the levels at which they might take place. Say, over the next six months, what are the high levels at which do you expect the interaction exactly to be?

Mr Jaswant Singh: Permit me to somewhat alter the suggestion of alarm in your question about what are we left with.It suggests that everything has collapsed in India-Pak relations. No, that is not so. This is an ancient relationship. Pakistan is our neighbour. I have made clear in the opening statement that I have given that India remains committed to working towards lasting peace, amity and co-operation with Pakistan and this high purpose which has inspired the Prime Minister’s public life will continue to be our purpose. In practical terms, I have made clear that the invitation to the Prime Minister by His Excellency the President of Pakistan is in position. The invitation has been accepted. Through diplomatic methods a convenient date for such a visit will take place. No doubt that there will be other opportunities at other levels to continue with interaction between the two countries.

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Question (Mr Srinivasan Jain, NDTV):During the negotiations, at any stage, at any level, was there an acceptance of the centrality of Kashmir in any sort of peace process between India and Pakistan? Of course, other issues would also have been a part of that. But was there any acceptance that Kashmir would emerge as the central issue? Secondly, given the sort of serious differences that seemed to have emerged late last night when the talks eventually seemd to break down, what hopes you have?What could be the basis for any future engagement with Pakistan, at least with this regime?

Mr Jaswant Singh: That Jammu and Kashmir is an issue which needs to be addressed has been recognised by India and so stated since, in fact, the Shimla Agreement. India remains firm on that. If some of you would go back to the text of Shimla Agreement you would find a reference to that.India’s position has, therefore, remained constant.We recognise that it is an issue. We are committed to addressing the issue. I understand you enquired about the centrality. I have answered that in my prepared text.Here we have a conceptual difference with Pakistan.We recognise it as an issue that needs to be addressed. We do not recognise it as the only issue. We do not certainly – I have answered this question and I do not wish to bore you with repeating the same reply – accept it as the core issue and such other definition.But we accept it as an issue and we are committed to addressing it.

Question (Mr Srinivasan Jain,, NDTV):I had a second part of the question which was, what was really the basis for any future talks given the very serious differences.

Mr Jaswant Singh: Yes, and I have answered it.I have answered this to several other questioners earlier. I would not treat this as the end of the exercise.Our commitment to peace and dialogue, amity between the two countries remains. I have said this earlier.The caravan of peace will continue on its march.I have no doubt in my mind that on some auspicious day, it will reach its destination.

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Question (Mr Prem Prakash
ANI): There was hardly any preparation for this Summit.Now that the invitation for Mr. Vajpayee has been accepted, can one expect that there would be preparation for that?

Mr Jaswant Singh: I followed your question.Please let me correct this because in the question there is a misimpression as if India did not prepare for it.I do not believe that. I have now held this responsibility for several years. I have no difficulty in sharing with you that the officers of my Ministry have taken to despair as to how many demands are made on them about preparing for this visit! The Government of India or the Ministry of External Affairs or other Ministries were not lacking in preparation for this visit, were not wanting preparation.We were fully prepared. All the members of the delegation were fully briefed. The documents that we had prepared had not been prepared impromptu. They had been prepared weeks in advance, discussed at length between the ministerial colleagues and the delegation members. So, the preparation on India’s side was not lacking.All that I am pointing out is that when India suggested that let the officials of the two Governments meet, prepare some basic working documents and arrive at a possible agenda for submission to the Heads of Government, we found sadly that Pakistan did not want it in that manner.

Question ( Ranjan GuptaCBS):How will you now characterise India-Pakistan relations after the talks?Are they better than before the talks, or worse? Considering that a tremendous amount of much-displayed bilateralism did not succeed, will you go in for third party goodwill, third party mediation?

Mr Jaswant Singh:Yes, we have a better understanding of the Government of Pakistan and I would hope that they have a better understanding of the Government of India. Third party – ‘No.’ Two parties are more than adequate. Three is a crowd.

Question (Ms Aditi Phadnis, Business Standard):Mr. Minister, you have acknowledged that there are conceptual differences between India and Pakistan on various issues.If there are conceptual differences, what is the space left for you to take Indo-Pakistan relations forward?

Mr Jaswant Singh: There are conceptual differences, but I believe that India and Pakistan’s relations should not be defined by differences. They must be able to move beyond and transcend the differences for the sake of the welfare of the peoples of the two countries.

So far as my responsibility as the Minister of External Affairs of India goes, I do interpret my responsibility as one of constant endeavour to attempt tobridge the gaps of understanding, to continue to endeavour to reconcile differences. That indeed is the inspired thought that persuades the Prime Minister too.

Question (Mr Siddharth Varadarajan, Times Of India): Would you use the word failure to describe the Agra Summit?

Mr Jaswant Singh: No.

Question (Mr Siddharth Varadarajan, Times Of India): Once talks have broken down in terms of the text of the declaration, was there any attempt to reach an understanding on a very basic minimum text such as, ‘the President of Pakistan has come, extended his invitation, the Prime Minister has agreed’ etc., something that would just be a minimum statement which could have been given and which might perhaps have given a better ending to this meeting, if as you said, you do not want to characterise it as a failure?

Mr Jaswant Singh:No, I do not characterise it as a failure. I do term it as yet another step in our march towards finding lasting peace, amity and co-operation between the two countries.I do not wish to speculate what would have been better and what would not have been better. That is now in the realm of past.

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Question (Mr Stephen, London Times):Sir, you continue to emphasise the totality of relationships and he, one central issue. You look to the precedents of Shimla Accord, and the history, and to the future, and you keep issues confidential - whereas he talks in public.Can you do business with this man?

Mr Jaswant Singh:Well, I have just done business with him. I have to deal with the world as it is and not as it ought to be.

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Question (Mr Raja Mohan, The Hindu): Mr. Minister, you said, ‘three is a crowd’.One of the problems at the Summit was Pakistan’s attempt to bring a third party into the definition of the problem whether through the notion of self-determination, whether through taking into account the wishes of the people. Was that one of the problems that did not allow the final declaration to come?

Mr Jaswant Singh: There are two aspects of your question Raja. If I went into the details of answering the second, I would teeter very close to confidentiality of discussion. Permit me not to indulge in any such fine balancing acts.

So far as the first which relates to ‘three is a crowd’, and was there any attempt to bring the third, no, there was not. India and Pakistan by themselves are enough to deal with India-Pakistan matters.

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Question (Mr Jairam, Indo Asean News Service):Mr. Minister, what will be the implication of this Summit on the SAARC process?Is it destined to remain in a limbo for long?

Mr Jaswant Singh: I must make it clear that so far as SAARC is concerned, before the Summit the Foreign Secretary Mrs. Chokila Iyer was due to go in a special meeting of the Foreign Secretaries to intiate the SAARC process all afresh. Most regrettably,just then the sad and tragic events invaded Nepal which has insisted on postponement of that visit. I have no doubt that the Foreign Secretary has now got fresh dates for the purpose and she would be going and it is my hope that the SAARC Summit, subject of course to the convenience of the other member-countries and the host country Nepal where the meeting will take place.

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Question (Mr Smith, Press Trust Of India):I would like to know whether the talks achieved anything in real terms. Or, were they a futile exercise?

Mr Jaswant Singh: No, it is not a futile exercise.We remain committed. Real terms is your subjective way of putting it.Your real terms and my real terms might differ.

I have an aeroplane to catch which does not wait for me.But I will answer that question.

Question (Ms Kathy Soko, Kyoto Journal):It was not so long ago that M.J. Akbar had written in his book ‘Kashmir Behind the Veil’ quoting former statesman Jaiprakash Narain.He wrote in a confidential letter to Indira Gandhi many years ago – "We profess democracy but rule by force in Kashmir.We profess secularism but that Hindu nationalism stampede us into trying to establish it by repression. Kashmir has distorted India’s image in the world as nothing has done. The problem exists not because Pakistan wants to grab Kashmir but because there is deep and widespread political discontent among the people.” Now, I would like to ask you, Sir, in the year 2001, how would you characterise Indian rule in Jammu and Kashmir?

Mr Jaswant Singh:First of all, I do not agree with what late Jaiprakash had written.That is his personal viewpoint. When you call Indian rule, please correct yourself. The State of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. Whatever internal problems that India faces, we are committed to resolving both internal as also the aspect of cross-border terrorism.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the press, I am really in your hands. I have endeavoured as best as I could.

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Question: Some of your crucial allies, even elements within your ruling family, are opposed reviving talks with Pakistan. In the wake of this failure, will the Government have some rethinking on this? Will there be a chance for the Prime Minister to meet the President in New York in the General Assembly Session?

Mr Jaswant Singh: Firstly, this is not a failure. Secondly, your suggestion that there is any difference of opinion within the National Democratic Alliance, No. What you described as the family, not there either. Will he meet the President on the sideline of the United Nations General Assembly? That will be determined in due time.

(Ends)


Statement by the Official Spokesperson of MEA
16 July, 2001


I am disappointed to inform all of you ladies and gentlemen of the media that although the commencement of a process and the beginning of a journey has taken place, the destination of an agreed joint statement has not been reached.

It is very late and I do not wish to go into any detailed elaboration. A full-fledged press conference will take place at this very venue at 10 O' clock tomorrow morning.

Agra
July 16, 2001


Statement by the Official Spokesperson of MEA
15 July, 2001


The Prime Minister of India and the President of Pakistan met today for one and a half hours of one-to-one and over an hour of delegation level talks.

The talks were held in a very cordial, frank and constructive manner.

PM and President Musharraf will have further meetings later today and tomorrow.

Talks will also be held between the two delegations at Official and Ministerial levels.

The President of Pakistan has extended an invitation to the PM to visit Pakistan, which has been accepted.

Agra
July 15, 2001


Prime Minister's Opening Statement at the Plenary of the India-Pakistan Summit
15 July, 2001

  • I extend to you and your delegation a warm welcome to this ancient and historic city of Agra. I hope that your stay here will be comfortable, and that our deliberations will take our relations forward positively and constructively.
  • Through the past five decades, India has held firm in its abiding desire for peace and friendship with Pakistan. We remain committed to the establishment of trust and confidence, to developing mutually 'beneficial cooperation and to address all outstanding issues, including Jammu & Kashmir. We believe that the core concern of our peoples is their struggle against poverty, want, hunger and deprivation.
  • We have always taken a comprehensive view of India-Pakistan relations, because it is our conviction that we must progress where we can, even as we address the more complex issues. We believe that, rather than operating in segments, we should take a broad based approach across the spectrum of possibilities in our relationship.
  • It is with these perspectives that we announced a few decisions in advance of your visit, aimed at addressing some of the mutual concerns of our peoples. They relate to peace and security, to the development of people to people ties, and to promote contacts by facilitating travel.
  • We have already had a frank discussion on important matters. We look forward to a further detailed exchange of views on all issues including that of Jammu & Kashmir. You are fully aware of our views on this subject and we have heard yours. We cannot deny that there are vast differences between us on this. We are willing to address these differences and to move forward. But for this, it is important to create a conducive atmosphere. The terrorism violence being promoted in the State from across its borders do not help to create such an atmosphere. We will counter them resolutely. Let no one think that India does not have the resolve, strength or stamina to continue resisting terrorism and violence. But, they do not promote meaningful dialogue.
  • We firmly believe that a framework to address the differences between us on Jammu & Kashmir would have to include the issue of cross-border terrorism in its ambit. We can also look at other confidence building measures to further encourage this process.
  • The subjects which we have identified for the Composite Dialogue between our two countries cover a wide range. Progress on them can meaningfully contribute to the welfare and security of our peoples. We believe that the time has come to resume our engagement on the entire range of these issues.
  • I wish to refer to certain additional specific matters.
    1. We have consistently for over two decades urged Pakistan to release the 54 Indian POWs that we strongly believe remain in your custody. This is a human problem. I would urge that Pakistan takes urgent and purposeful action to end the agony of the families of these soldiers.
    2. We know that some terrorists and criminals, guilty of crimes like the bomb blasts in Mumbai in 1993 and the hijacking of the Indian Airlines flight, are living in Pakistan. We have requested Pakistan that they should be arrested and handed over to us. They have to be brought to justice.
    3. We have recently issued instructions to our Coast Guard not to take into custody Pakistani fishermen, who inadvertently stray into our waters, but to turn them back after due warning. A similar reciprocal gesture 'on Pakistan's part would lead to a permanent resolution of this recurring problem.
    4. Pilgrims to religious shrines in both countries have to be facilitated and their sentiments respected. The presence of known terrorist who have been allowed to stay in Sikh Gurudwaras in Pakistan is a matter of grave concern to our Sikhs. We have formally requested your authorities that these terrorists be handed over to us to face due process of law in connection with crimes for which they are wanted in India. I wish to specifically reiterate this request to you. While on the subject of religious shrines, the upkeep of Hindu temples and the treatment of Hindu pilgrim is also a matter of concern to us.
    5. The enhancement of trade ties would be mutually beneficial- we seek no unilateral advantage. Trade and industry circles have constantly urged both governments to respond to the desire for great interaction. We are willing to take further major steps in this direction. We have already announced a reduction or elimination of tariffs on 50 tariff lines to encourage Pakistani imports to India. I propose that a group of experts of both countries be constituted to recommend measures to increase bilateral trade, economic and technical interaction.
  • Our vision for the future of India Pakistan relations has to construct a durable road map for the future based firmly on the lessons of its often troubled history. We should respond not only to our immediate need for peace and progress for our peoples but also to an international environment that increasingly stresses inter-dependence and cooperation over conflict and discord. Let us grasp this fresh opportunity to create the lasting peace and amity which has eluded us for these past 54 years.

Presidents Speech at the Banquet hosted for President Musharraf
14 July, 2001


The following is the text of the speech of the President, Shri K.R. Narayanan at the banquet hosted in the honour of the President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, General Musharraf here today:
Excellency President Musharraf,
Begum Musharraf,
Distinguished Guests from Pakistan,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

"It is with the greatest pleasure that I extend to you and Begum Musharraf and the distinguished members of your delegation, a cordial welcome on behalf of the Government and the people of India. You must have, Excellency, sensed the warmth with which Delhi is welcoming one of its distinguished sons on his first visit to the city after nearly half a century. From this capital city that throbs with old and new history, the heart of a modern and resurgent India, may I give expression to the hope of our people that your visit, on any reckoning a historic one, will open a new chapter in the relations between our two countries that will enable us to walk together on the high road of peace and friendship to our common goal of progress and prosperity.

In 1945-46, when the partition of India appeared almost inevitable, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, sitting in a cell in a British jail, wrote in his book "The Discovery of India", and I quote, "It is obvious that whatever be the future of India, even if there is regular partition, the different parts of India, will have to co-operate with each other, in a hundred different ways". And after the partition took place, he declared his belief that "it is to India’s advantage that Pakistan should be a secure and prosperous State with which we can develop close and friendly relations." Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah expressing the same sentiment to the press said that "now that the division of India has been brought about by a solemn agreement between the two Dominions, we should bury the past, and resolve that, despite all that has happened, we shall remain friends. There are many things which we need from each other as neighbours, morally, materially and politically, and thereby raise the prestige and status of both the Dominions". It is this vision of the future articulated by the leaders of both our countries that we have to pursue as the unfinished agenda of partition for resolving all the differences between us and for ensuring peace and prosperity for our peoples.

India, Your Excellency, is home to one-sixth of humanity. It is a nation of unparalleled diversities, held together by the spirit of tolerance, by its policy and practice of secularism, and its deep attachment to democracy. The words of Emperor Ashoka still rings in our ears, "all sects deserve reverence . . . By thus acting a man exalts his own and at the same time does service to others". It was the same message that Akbar the Great proclaimed. I recall the words of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah in Pakistan Constituent Assembly when he referred to the tolerance and goodwill that Emperor Akbar showed to all as something that should be followed and practised. We in India hold fast to the fundamentals of tolerance and secular democratic principles and it is our conviction that on the basis of these principles India and Pakistan can regulate their relationship to one of genuine peace, friendship, and co-operation.

Excellency, history has left behind many issues and problems between our two countries. But the major and the overriding issue for the millions that inhabit the sub-continent is that of poverty, illiteracy and ill health, in short general and massive deprivation. You have, Excellency, often talked about this. In India it has been our main preoccupation since Independence to eradicate poverty and to elevate the levels of living of our people. Mahatma Gandhi had said that his mission in life was "to wipe every tear from every eye". He had advised us whenever you have to make a decision, you recall to your mind the face of the poorest man you might have seen and ask yourself if the decision you are going to take will help him or not. Tomorrow when you and the Prime Minister of India sit together in Agra for your dialogue I hope the face of the poorest person in the sub-continent will be before you and you will ponder together how this impoverished common man will be benefited by your deliberations and decisions. If this is held before you I believe that all other issues between us will pale into secondary importance and will become amenable to amicable and satisfactory solutions.

There are many fields in which we can work together and co-operate constructively for the benefit of our peoples. Both our countries have made significant strides in economic development and in science and technology. Let us remove all impediments in the path of interaction between our peoples. Let our scholars, artists, writers and professionals and above all our common people meet freely and sense the warmth of fraternal friendship. Let us join our forces and the talents of our gifted people to make development and the blessings of modern science and technology for the benefit of our people. It is only common sense that for this purpose we need an atmosphere of peace and mutual confidence between us. We have to rule out violence from our relationship. We seek friendly and co-operative relations with all states, particularly with those in our neighbourhood. We believe that our region has to progress together even while each state safeguards and develops its individual and distinct personality and its own chosen way of life. India continues to support and strengthen SAARC on the basis of the well-thought out charter of the organisation. I believe that if India and Pakistan can establish normal bilateral relations SAARC will be transformed into a dynamic regional organisation.

Excellency, let us endeavour during this visit to build upon what we have agreed upon in the Shimla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration. At Shimla we had solemnly declared that "the two countries put an end to the conflict and confrontation that have hitherto marred their relations". It is time to implement this eloquently stated desire of our two countries. The City of Agra where you would be parleying with our Prime Minister from tomorrow is the city of love as well as the city of reconciliation. It is near there at Sikandra where Akbar the Great lies buried. May his spirit pervade the conference chamber tomorrow. I believe that the dialogue between India and Pakistan that we have initiated will evolve into a structured dialogue at the summit as well as other levels which will lead to the removal of all obstacles and misunderstandings that stand in our way and pave the way to the solutions of problems and the creation of enduring friendship between our two nations.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, may I invite you to raise a toast:

  • to the establishment of friendship and cooperation between India and Pakistan ;
  • to the progress and prosperity of the people of Pakistan ;
  • to the good health and happiness of the President of Pakistan and Begum Musharraf.

PM's Letter of Invitation and Related Press Releases

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The Acting High Commissioner of India in Islamabad, called on the Foreign Secretary of Pakistan this morning to hand over a letter from Prime Minister Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee for General Pervez Musharraf, Chief Executive of Pakistan, inviting him and Begum Musharraf to visit India.

The text of the letter is given below:

BEGINS

"Excellency,

India has, through dialogue, consistently endeavoured to build a relationship of durable peace, stability and cooperative friendship with Pakistan. Our common enemy is poverty. For the welfare of our peoples, there is no other recourse but a pursuit of the path of reconciliation, of engaging in productive dialogue and by building trust and confidence. I invite you to walk this high road with us.

When I visited Lahore in February 1999, with the objective of beginning a new chapter in our bilateral relations, I had recorded at the Minar-e-Pakistan that a 'stable, secure and prosperous Pakistan is in India's interest'; that remains our conviction.

We have to pick up the threads again, including renewing the Composite Dialogue, so that we can put in place a stable structure of cooperation and address all outstanding issues, including J&K.

I have the pleasure to extend a most cordial invitation to Begum Musharraf and
you to visit India at your early convenience.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.

ENDS

(A. B. Vajpayee)
New Delhi
May 25, 2001.


In November last, on the eve of Ramzan, Prime Minister Vajpayee had announced non-initiation of combat operations against terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir. This was subsequently extended. It has now lasted for six months. It was expected that various terrorist groups and orgainsations, mostly foreign, would see reason, and recognising the imperatives of peace, dialogue and cooperation shun violence. Regrettably, they have not.

This phase, therefore, is now over. These terrorist groups have hindered the
restoration of peace in Jammu and kashmir and have inflicted misery upon the people
of that State. Hereafter, security forces shall take such action against terrorists as they judge best. They will, in the process, continue to exercise maximum care that no
harassment is caused to the civilian population.

A gratifying feature of these last six months has been relative peace along the LOC on account of restraint exercised by both sides. There has also been considerable lowering of cross LOC exchange of fire. In this regard, the Government has decided
that it will continue to observe maximum restraint as hitherto.

The process of dialogue initiated by the Prime Minister under Shri K.C. Pant shall continue unhindered. Our invitation to all sections in J&K to join this dialogue is reiterated.

India's commitment to peace, dialogue and cooperative co-existence with Pakistan remains unaltered. Prime Minister Vajpayee had set in motion a peace process by his historic and path breaking visit to Lahore in early 1999.

In pursuance of Lahore Declaration and the Shimla Agreement, Prime Minister Vajpayee has decided to invite General Pervez Musharraf, the Chief Executive of Pakistan to visit to India at his early convenience. A formal invitation will be delivered shortly.

India is yet again offering the hand of friendship, reconciliation, cooperation and peace to Pakistan, in the expectation that this opportunity shall be positively and purposefully utilised by them.

New Delhi
May 23, 2001


At the invitation of Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Chief Executive of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf and Begum Musharraf will visit India from 14th to 16th July 2001. Their stay in India will include a ceremonial welcome in Delhi, a retreat in Agra, where discussions will be held between the two leaders, and a visit to Ajmer Sharif. Details of the programme are being worked out.

New Delhi
19 June, 2001


In order to enhance

  • people-to-people ties, especially among the youth of India and Pakistan, Prime Minister has decided the following:
    1. 20 scholarships will be offered to students from Pakistan in Indian technical institutions;
    2. Pakistani poets, academics, writers and artistes will be invited individually, or in groups for a month long visit each, as guests of the Government of India;
    3. Groups of Pakistani students (from school to university, boys and girls) will be invited by the Government to visit and tour Indian academic establishments.
    4. Desirous of a permanent resolution of the problems of Indian and Pakistani fishermen, who from time to time, are taken into custody, the Prime Minister has instructed that the Indian Coast Guard will not in future take Pakistani fishermen, who inadvertently transgress into our waters, in custody. Henceforth, they will be turned back after due warning.
  • The Prime Minister has also instructed the Ministry of Home Affairs to take expeditious action for the release of all Pakistani ‘civilian’ prisoners currently in India, after due processes of law.
  • In order to encourage Pakistani imports into India, Prime Minister has instructed the Ministry of Commerce to reduce/eliminate tariff on 50 tariff lines. These lines will be identified and instructions to this effect issued before 15 August 2001.

New Delhi
July 4, 2001.


The establishment of durablepeace and stability between India and Pakistan is vital for both countries. Violence continues to be fomented in Jammu & Kashmir from beyond our borders. This must cease. Encouraged, however, by the relative quiet prevailing along the LOC and the AGPL in Jammu & Kashmir, the Prime Minister has instructed the Director General of Military Operations of the Indian Army to visit Pakistan to meet his counterpart at an early date of mutual convenience so that the processes for peace along the LOC and the AGPL can be strengthened further and stabilised.

India and Pakistan are committed to engage in bilateral consultations on security concepts and Nuclear Confidence Building Measures. In order to give meaning to this commitment, the Prime Minister has instructed that an official dialogue at the experts level should be proposed immediately. In addition to the official dialogue, non-official exchanges should also be encouraged. The Ministry of External Affairs will initiate action accordingly.

New Delhi
July 6, 2001.


It is our conviction that the foundations of peace between India and Pakistanhave to be laid in the minds and hearts of men and women, and above all, the youth of both countries.Thus travel between India and Pakistan should be made as simple and easy as possible. The Prime Minister has, therefore, decided that henceforth Pakistani passport holders will be allowed to come by the road route and obtain visas at the check-post at Attari. An additional check-posts will be opened at Munabao, in Rajasthan. Similar check-posts will also be opened at designated points along the IB and the LOC in Jammu and Kashmir. Administrative arrangements, including those for transport, will be urgently put in place so as to implement the Prime Minister's decision within three months,.

New Delhi
July 09, 2001.


Lahore Documents
February, 1999


Joint Statement
Memorandum of Understanding


The following is the text of the Lahore Declaration :


The Prime Ministers of the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan:

Sharing a vision of peace and stability between their countries, and of progress and prosperity for their peoples;

Convinced that durable peace and development of harmonious relations and friendly cooperation will serve the vital interests of the peoples of the two countries, enabling them to devote their energies for a better future;

Recognising that the nuclear dimension of the security environment of the two countries adds to their responsibility for avoidance of conflict between the two countries;

Committed to the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, and the universally accepted principles of peaceful co- existence;

Reiterating the determination of both countries to implementing the Simla Agreement in letter and spirit;

Committed to the objective of universal nuclear disarmament and non-proliferartion;

Convinced of the importance of mutually agreed confidence building measures for improving the security environment;

Recalling their agreement of 23rd September, 1998, that an environment of peace and security is in the supreme national interest of both sides and that the resolution of all outstanding issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, is essential for this purpose;

Have agreed that their respective Governments:

  • shall intensify their efforts to resolve all issues, including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • shall refrain from intervention and interference in each other's internal affairs.
  • shall intensify their composite and integrated dialogue process for an early and positive outcome of the agreed bilateral agenda.
  • shall take immediate steps for reducing the risk of accidental or unauthorised use of nuclear weapons and discuss concepts and doctrines with a view to elaborating measures for confidence building in the nuclear and conventional fields, aimed at prevention of conflict.
  • reaffirm their commitment to the goals and objectives of SAARC and to concert their efforts towards the realisation of the SAARC vision for the year 2000 and beyond with a view to promoting the welfare of the peoples of South Asia and to improve their quality of life through accelerated economic growth, social progress and cultural development.
  • reaffirm their condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and their determination to combat this menace.
  • shall promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Signed at Lahore on the 21st day of February 1999.

Atal Behari Vajpayee - Prime Minister of the Republic of India

Muhammad Nawaz Sharif - Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan


Joint statement

The following is the text of the Joint Statement issued at the end of the Prime Minister, Mr. A. B. Vajpayee's visit to Lahore:

  • In response to an invitation by the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, the Prime Minister of India, Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee, visited Pakistan from 20-21 February, 1999, on the inaugural run of the Delhi-Lahore bus service.
  • The Prime Minister of Pakistan received the Indian Prime Minister at the Wagah border on 20th February 1999. A banquet in honour of the Indian Prime Minister and his delegation was hosted by the Prime Minister of Pakistan at Lahore Fort, on the same evening. Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, visited Minar-e- Pakistan, Mausoleum of Allama Iqabal, Gurudawara Dera Sahib and Samadhi of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh. On 21st February, a civic reception was held in honour of the visiting Prime Minister at the Governor's House.
  • The two leaders held discussions on the entire range of bilateral relations, regional cooperation within SAARC, and issues of international concern. They decided that:
    1. The two Foreign Ministers will meet periodically to discuss all issues of mutual concern, including nuclear related issues.
    2. The two sides shall undertake consultations on WTO related issues with a view to coordinating their respective positions.
    3. The two sides shall determine areas of cooperation in Information Technology, in particular for tackling the problems of Y2K.
    4. The two sides will hold consultations with a view to further liberalising the visa and travel regime.
    5. The two sides shall appoint a two member committee at ministerial level to examine humanitarian issues relating to Civilian detainees and missing POWs.
  • They expressed satisfaction on the commencement of a Bus Service between Lahore and New Delhi, the release of fishermen and civilian detainees and the renewal of contacts in the field of sports.
  • Pursuant to the directive given by the two Prime Ministers, the Foreign Secretaries of Pakistan and India signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 21st February 1999, identifying measures aimed at promoting an environment of peace and security between the two countries.
  • The two Prime Ministers signed the Lahore Declaration embodying their shared vision of peace and stability between their countries and of progress and prosperity for their peoples.
  • Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee extended an invitation to Prime Minister, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, to visit India on mutually convenient dates.
  • Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, thanked Prime Minister, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, for the warm welcome and gracious hospitality extended to him and members of his delegation and for the excellent arrangements made for his visit.

Lahore,
February 21, 1999.


Memorandum of Understanding

The following is the text of the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Foreign Secretary, Mr. K. Raghunath, and the Pakistan Foreign Secretary, Mr. Shamshad Ahmad, in Lahore on Sunday:

The Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan:-

Reaffirming the continued commitment of their respective governments to the principles and purposes of the U.N. Charter;

Reiterating the determination of both countries to implementing the Shimla Agreement in letter and spirit;

Guided by the agreement between their Prime Ministers of 23rd September 1998 that an environment of peace and security is in the supreme national interest of both sides and that resolution of all outstanding issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, is essential for this purpose;

Pursuant to the directive given by their respective Prime Ministers in Lahore, to adopt measures for promoting a stable environment of peace, and security between the two countries;

Have on this day, agreed to the following:-

  • The two sides shall engage in bilateral consultations on security concepts, and nuclear doctrines, with a view to developing measures for confidence building in the nuclear and coventional fields, aimed at avoidance of conflict.
  • The two sides undertake to provide each other with advance notification in respect of ballistic missile flight tests, and shall conclude a bilateral agreement in this regard.
  • The two sides are fully committed to undertaking national measures to reducing the risks of accidential or unauthorised use of nuclear weapons under their respective control. The two sides further undertake to notify each, other immediately in the event of any accidential, unauthorised or unexplained incident that could create the risk of a fallout with adverse consequences for both sides, or an outbreak of a nuclear war between the two countries, as well as to adopt measures aimed at diminishing the possibility of such actions, or such incidents being misinterpreted by the other. The two side shall identify/establish the appropriate communication mechanism for this purpose.
  • The two sides shall continue to abide by their respective unilateral moratorium on conducting further nuclear test explosions unless either side, in exercise of its national sovereignty decides that extraordinary events have jeopardised its supreme interests.
  • The two sides shall conclude an agreement on prevention of incidents at sea in order to ensure safety of navigation by naval vessels, and aircraft belonging to the two sides.
  • The two sides shall periodically review the implementation of existing Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) and where necessary, set up appropriate consultative mechanisms to monitor and ensure effective implementation of these CBMs.
  • The two sides shall undertake a review of the existing communication links (e.g. between the respective Directors- General, Military Operations) with a view to upgrading and improving these links, and to provide for fail-safe and secure communications.
  • The two sides shall engage in bilateral consultations on security, disarmament and non-proliferation issues within the context of negotiations on these issues in multilateral fora.

    Where required, the technical details of the above measures will be worked out by experts of the two sides in meetings to be held on mutually agreed dates, before mid 1999, with a view to reaching bilateral agreements.

    Done at Lahore on 21st February 1999 in the presence of Prime Minister of India, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, and Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.
(K. Raghunath) (Shamshad Ahmad)
Foreign Secretary of the Republic of India Foreign Secretary of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Simla Agreement
July 2, 1972


The Simla Agreement signed by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan on 2nd July 1972 was much more than a peace treaty seeking to reverse the consequences of the 1971 war (i.e. to bring about withdrawals of troops and an exchange of PoWs). It was a comprehensive blue print for good neighbourly relations between India and Pakistan. Under the Simla Agreement both countries undertook to abjure conflict and confrontation which had marred relations in the past, and to work towards the establishment of durable peace, friendship and cooperation.

The Simla Agreement contains a set of guiding principles, mutually agreed to by India and Pakistan, which both sides would adhere to while managing relations with each other. These emphasize: respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty; non-interference in each other’s internal affairs; respect for each others unity, political independence; sovereign equality; and abjuring hostile propaganda. The following principles of the Agreement are, however, particularly noteworthy:

  • A mutual commitment to the peaceful resolution of all issues through direct bilateral approaches.
  • To build the foundations of a cooperative relationship with special focus on people to people contacts.
  • To uphold the inviolability of the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, which is a most important CBM between India and Pakistan, and a key to durable peace.
    India has faithfully observed the Simla Agreement in the conduct of its relations with Pakistan.

SIMLA AGREEMENT

Agreement on Bilateral Relations Between The Government of India and The Government of Pakistan

  • The Government of India and the Government of Pakistan are resolved that the two countries put an end to the conflict and confrontation that have hitherto marred their relations and work for the promotion of a friendly and harmonious relationship and the establishment of durable peace in the sub-continent, so that both countries may henceforth devote their resources and energies to the pressing talk of advancing the welfare of their peoples.

    In order to achieve this objective, the Government of India and the Government of Pakistan have agreed as follows:-
    1. That the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations shall govern the relations between the two countries;
    2. That the two countries are resolved to settle their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations or by any other peaceful means mutually agreed upon between them. Pending the final settlement of any of the problems between the two countries, neither side shall unilaterally alter the situation and both shall prevent the organization, assistance or encouragement of any acts detrimental to the maintenance of peaceful and harmonious relations;
    3. That the pre-requisite for reconciliation, good neighbourliness and durable peace between them is a commitment by both the countries to peaceful co-existence, respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, on the basis of equality and mutual benefit;
    4. That the basic issues and causes of conflict which have bedevilled the relations between the two countries for the last 25 years shall be resolved by peaceful means; }
    5. That they shall always respect each other’s national unity, territorial integrity, political independence and sovereign equality;
    6. That in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations they will refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of each other.
  • Both Governments will take all steps within their power to prevent hostile propaganda directed against each other. Both countries will encourage the dissemination of such information as would promote the development of friendly relations between them.
  • In order progressively to restore and normalize relations between the two countries step by step, it was agreed that;
    1. Steps shall be taken to resume communications, postal, telegraphic, sea, land including border posts, and air links including overflights.
    2. Appropriate steps shall be taken to promote travel facilities for the nationals of the other country.
    3. Trade and co-operation in economic and other agreed fields will be resumed as far as possible.
    4. Exchange in the fields of science and culture will be promoted.

      In this connection delegations from the two countires will meet from time to time to work out the necessary details.
    5. In order to initiate the process of the establishment of durable peace, both the Governments agree that:
      1. Indian and Pakistani forces shall be withdrawn to their side of the international border.
      2. In Jammu and Kashmir, the line of control resulting from the cease-fire of December 17, 1971 shall be respected by both sides without prejudice to the recognized position of either side. Neither side shall seek to alter it unilaterally, irrespective of mutual differences and legal interpretations. Both sides further undertake to refrain from the threat or the use of force in violation of this Line.
      3. The withdrawals shall commence upon entry into force of this Agreement and shall be completed within a period of 30 days thereof.
      4. This Agreement will be subject to ratification by both countries in accordance with their respective constitutional procedures, and will come into force with effect from the date on which the Instruments of Ratification are exchanged.
      5. Both Governments agree that their respective Heads will meet again at a mutually convenient time in the future and that, in the meanwhile, the representatives of the two sides will meet to discuss further the modalities and arrangements for the establishment of durable peace and normalization of relations, including the questions of repatriation of prisoners of war and civilian internees, a final settlement of Jammu and Kashmir and the resumption of diplomatic relations.
Sd/- Sd/-
(Indira Gandhi) (Zulfikar Ali Bhutto)
President Prime Minister
Republic of India Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Simla, the 2nd July, 1972


Composite Dialogue

Between March 1997 and September 1998, the Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan met on several occasions to work out the details for a new format to conduct India Pakistan bilateral talks.

An agreement on the new format was formally announced at New York on September 1998 following a meeting between the Indian and Pakistani Foreign Secretaries. Under the new format both sides agreed to a broad based approach that aimed at building trust and confidence, developing mutually beneficial cooperation and address outstanding issues between India and Pakistan through a Composite Dialogue of eight subjects, at levels specified in the Joint Statement. All subjects were to be given equal importance so as to move the India-Pakistan relations forward over a broad front. The new format was a significant departure from the earlier format under which India-Pakistan talks were conducted at the Foreign Secretary level without any fixed agenda.

Under the agreed format, discussions were to be conducted on 8 identified subjects in the following manner:

  • Peace and Security including CBMs At the level of Foreign Secretaries
  • Jammu & Kashmir At the level of Foreign Secretaries
  • Siachen At the level of Defence Secretaries
  • Tulbul Navigation Project At the level of Secretaries, Water & Power
  • Sir Creek At the level of Additional Secretary (Defence)/Surveyor General
  • Terrorism and Drug Trafficking At the level of Home/Interior Secretaries
  • Economic and Commercial At the level of Cooperation Commerce Secretaries
  • Promotion of Friendly Exchange At the level of in various fields Secreatries Culture

    The Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan met in Islamabad on 15-18 October 1998 for separate discussions on Peace and Security including CBMs, and on Jammu & Kashmir. Discussions on the other 6 agenda items were held at New Delhi between 5-13 November the same year.

Chronology of Summits

Summit Meetings* Between India and Pakistan Since 1947

SNo Date Place India Pakistan Remarks/Subject
01 Aug. 29,1947 Lahore Mountbatten PM Nehru Jinnah PM Liaqat Ali Khan Communal Riots
02 Sept. 8-20,1947 New Delhi PM Nehru PM Liaqat Ali Khan Minorities
03 Nov. 28,1947 New Delhi PM Nehru PM Liaqat Ali Khan Kashmir
04 Dec. 8,1947 Lahore Mountbatten PM Nehru Jinnah PM Liaqat Ali Khan Meeting of Joint Defence Council
05 April 2-8,1950 New Delhi PM Nehru PM LiaqatAli Khan Minorities
06 April 26-27,1950 Karachi PM Nehru PM Liaqat Ali Khan Minorities/Indo-Pakrelations
07 July 20-25, 1950 New Delhi PM Nehru PM Liaqat Ali Khan Kashmir
08 July 25-28,1953 Karachi PM Nehru PMMohammed Ali Kashmir /Indo-Pak Relations
09 Aug 17-20, 1953 New Delhi PM Nehru PMNoon Kashmir and Indo-PakRelaions
10 Sept 9-11, 1958 New Delhi PM Nehru PM Feroz Khan Noon Border disputes
11 Sept 1,1959 New Delhi PM Nehru President Ayub Khan Trade, Financial & general Indo-Pak Relations
12 Sept9-23, 1960 Karachi PM Nehru President Ayub Khan Indus Waters Treaty & Indo- Pak Relations.
13 Oct 12, 1964 Karachi PM Shastri President Ayub Khan Indo- Pak Relations.
14 Jan, 1966 Tashkant PM Shastri President Ayub Khan Post 1965 Conflict issues, Tashkant Agreement signed on Jan 10, 1966
15 July, 1972 Simla PM IndiraGandhi PresidentBhutto Post 1971 Conflict issues Indo-Pak relations Simla agreement signed on July 2, 1972
16 Aug 31, 1978 Nairobi PM MorarjiDesai Chief Marshal Law Adminstrator Gen.M Zia-ul-Haq Indo-Pak relations (Kenyata's funeral)
17 April 18,1980 Salisbury PM Indira Gandhi President Zia-ul-Haq Indo-Pak relations (Zimbabwe’s Independence)
18 Nov 1, 1982 New Delhi PM IndiraGandhi President Zia-ul-Haq
Indo-Pak relations / Decisionannounced to establish Indo-Pak Joint Commission
19 March 10, 1983 New Delhi PM Indira Gandhi President Zia-ul-Haq 7th NAM Summit-Joint Commission agreement was signed by the Foreign Ministers in the presence of Heads of Governments.
20 Nov 4, 1984 New Delhi PM Rajiv Gandhi President Zia-ul-Haq Indo-Pak relations ( Mrs. Indira Gandhi's funeral)
21 Mar 13, 1985 Moscow PM Rajiv Gandhi President Zia-ul-Haq Indo-Pak relations (Chernenko's funeral)
22 Oct 23, 1985 New York PM Rajiv Gandhi President Zia-ul-Haq Indo-Pak relations (UNGA Session)
23 Nov 18, 1985 Oman PM Rajiv Gandhi President Zia-ul-Haq Indo-Pak relations (Oman's 10th Anniversary)
24 Dec 7, 1985 Dhaka PM Rajiv Gandhi President Zia-ul-Haq Indo-Pak relations (SAARC SUMMIT)
25 Dec 17, 1985 New Delhi PM Rajiv Gandhi President Zia-ul-Haq Indo-Pak relations
26 Mar 15, 1986 Stockholm PM Rajiv Gandhi PM Mohd Khan Junejo Indo-Pak relations (Olaf Palme's funeral)
27 Nov 17, 1986 Bangalore PM Rajiv Gandhi PM Mohd Khan Junejo Indo-Pak relations (SAARC SUMMIT)
28 Feb 21, 1987 New Delhi PM Rajiv Gandhi & President Zail Singh President Zia-ul-Haq Indo-Pak relations (Pak president in India at the invitation of Cricket Control Board of India to watch cricket match at Jaipur)
29 Nov 4, 1987 Kathmandu PM Rajiv Gandhi PM Mohd Khan Junejo Indo-Pak relations (SAARC SUMMIT)
30 Aug 20, 1988 Islamabad President Venkataraman President Ghulam Ishaq Khan Indo-Pak relations (Gen Zia's funeral)
31 Dec 29-31,1988 Islamabad PM Rajiv Gandhi PM Benazir Bhutto Indo-Pak relations (three agreements signed)
32 July, 1989 Islamabad PM Rajiv Gandhi PM Benazir Bhutto Indo-Pak relations (bilateral visit)
33 Nov 22, 1990 Male PM Chandrasekhar PM Nawaz Sharif Indo-Pak relations (SAARC SUMMIT)
34 May 24, 1990 New Delhi PM Chandrasekhar PM Nawaz Sharif Funeral of Rajiv Gandhi
35 Oct 17, 1991 Harare PM PV Narsimha Rao PM Nawaz Sharif CHOGM
36 Dec 21, 1991 Colombo PM PV Narsimha Rao PM Nawaz Sharif Indo-Pak relations (SAARC SUMMIT)
37 Feb 2, 1992 Davos (Switzerland) PM PV Narsimha Rao PM Nawaz Sharif World Economic Forum Meeting
38 June 14, 1992 Rio-de-Janeiro PM PV Narsimha Rao PM Nawaz Sharif Environment Summit
39 Sept 3, 1992 Jakarta PM PV Narsimha Rao PM Nawaz Sharif NAM
40 April 11, 1993 Dhaka PM PV Narsimha Rao PM Nawaz Sharif SAARC SUMMIT
41 May 2, 1995 New Delhi PM PV Narsimha Rao President Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari SAARC SUMMIT
42 May 12, 1997 Male PM IK Gujral PM Nawaz Sharif SAARC SUMMIT
43 Sept 23, 1997 New York PM IK Gujral PM Nawaz Sharif UNGA
44 Oct 25, 1997 Edinburgh PM IK Gujral PM Nawaz Sharif CHOGM
45 Jan 15, 1998 Dhaka PM IK Gujral PM Nawaz Sharif Indo-Pak-Bangladesh trilateral business Summit
46 July 29, 1998 Colombo PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee PM Nawaz Sharif SAARC SUMMIT
47 Sept 23, 1998 New York PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee PM Nawaz Sharif UNGA Session
48 Feb 20-21,1999 Lahore PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee PM Nawaz Sharif Bilateral (Bus service inauguration) LAHORE DECLARATION SIGNED

India Pakistan Relations
Joint Statements/ Joint Press Statements


Joint Statements: 1||2||3||4||
Joint Press Statements:1||2||3||4||5||6||

Joint Statement

The Foreign Minister of Pakistan Mr. Sartaj Aziz and the Minister of External Affairs of India, Shri Jaswant Singh met today on the sidelines of the 21st Session of the SAARC Council of Ministers at Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka.

They reiterated the historic significance of the Lahore Declaration which embodies the vision of the Prime Ministers of the two countries for ending the legacy of tensions and conflicts of the past fifty years and for ushering a new era of peace, security and prosperity. They discussed ways and means to build on the Lahore Declaration which commits the two countries to build trust and confidence, develop mutually beneficial cooperation and intensify their efforts to resolve all outstanding issues including Jammu and Kashmir.

The two Foreign Ministers agreed on the urgency of taking concrete measures for implementation of the Lahore Declaration, the Memorandum of Understanding and the Joint Statement issued during the Lahore Summit. In this context, the Ministers agreed that the composite and integrated dialogue process must be intensified.

The Ministers agreed to the following :

  • The meetings of Experts for implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding will be held over the next two months.
  • The next round of the composite and integrated dialogue process in accordance with the agreed agenda will commence in May 1999 in New Delhi and Islamabad and will be held over a period of six weeks.
  • They will meet shortly after the conclusion of the May - June Round of the composite and integrated dialogue process.
  • The Committee on humanitarian issues composed of Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Pakistan and the Ministers of State of External Affairs of India set up the Prime Ministers at the Lahore Summit will meet in April 1999 to formalize the agreement on the issue of release of civilian prisoners as well as to discuss other humanitarian issues.
  • That both sides have agreed to relax the visa regime for several categories of visitors. The specific visa relaxation measures shall be announced by the two Governments shortly.
  • Delegations of experts from India shall visit Pakistan during April 1999 for identifying areas of cooperation in information technology, Y2K and WTO-related issues.

Sri Lanka
March 19, 1999.


Joint Statement

The Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of UN General Assembly in New York on 23rd September, 1998.

Their discussions covered the whole range of bilateral relations. The two Prime Ministers also carried out a detailed review of new developments in the region during the past few months.

They reaffirmed their common belief that an environment of durable peace and security was in the supreme interest of both India and Pakistan, and of the region as a whole. They expressed their determination to renew and reinvigorate efforts to secure such an environment. They agreed that the peaceful settlement of all outstanding issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, was essential for this purpose.

The two leaders reiterated their commitment to create conditions which would enable both countries to fully devote their resources, both human and material, to improving the lives of their people, particularly the poorest among them.

The two Prime Ministers noted with satisfaction the agreement reached between the Foreign Secretaries on operationalizing the mechanism to address all items in the agreed agenda of 23rd June, 1997 in a purposeful and composite manner. They directed the Foreign Secretaries, accordingly, to resume the dialogue on the agreed dates.

New York
September 23, 1998


Joint Statement

The Foreign Secretary of India, Shri K. Raghunath, and the Foreign Secretary of Pakistan, Mr. Shamshad Ahmad, met in New York on 23 rd September, 1998.

Pursuant to the agreement set out in para 4 of the Joint Statement issued at Islamabad on 23 June, 1997, the Foreign Secretaries agreed as follows:

  • The mechanism to address all the outstanding issues listed in para 4 (i) of the Joint Statement would now be made operational.
  • As stipulated in para 4 (ii) of the Joint Statement, all the issues shall be addressed substantively and specifically through the agreed mechanism in an integrated manner.
  • All outstanding issues shall be dealt with at the levels indicated below:
    1. Peace and Security including CBMs At the level of Foreign Secretaries
    2. Jammu and Kashmir Foreign Scretaries
    3. Siachen Defence Secretaries
    4. Wullar Barrage/Tulbul Navigation Secretaries, Water & Power Project
    5. Sir Creek Additional Secretary (Defence)/Surveyors General
    6. Terrorism and Drug Trafficking Home/Interior Secretaries
    7. Economic and Commercial Cooperation Commerce Secretaries
    8. Promotion of friendly exchanges Secretaries, Culture
    in various fields
  • The detailed composition of the official teams is left to the discreation of each side.
    The above mentioned subjects of this composite dialogue process will be discussed at the indicated levels in separate meetings. The dates of these meetings will be determined by mutual consent. At each round, the Foreign Secretaries will hold separate meetings on
    1. Peace and Security including CBMs and
    2. Jammu and Kashmir and review the progress of the dialogue process.
    The Foreign Secretaries will commence the substantive dialogue with separate meetings on
    1. Peace and Security including CBMs and
    2. Jammu and Kashmir in Islamabad on 15-18 October, 1998. The remaining six subjects i.e. Siachen,
    3. Wullar Barrage/Tulbul Navigation Project,
    4. Sir Creek,
    5. Terrorism and Drug Trafficking,
    6. Economic and Commercial Cooperation, and
    7. Promotion of friendly exchanges in various fields, shall be taken up in substantive and separate meetings in New Delhi in the first half of November 1998.
The cycle of meetings of the Foreign Secretaries will be continued on this pattern on agreed dates.

New York
September 23 , 1998

 


Joint Statement

Mr. Shamshad Ahmad, Foreign Secretary of Pakistan and Mr. K. Raghunath, Foreign Secretary of India, met in Islamabad on 15-18 October, 1998. They held separate meetings on agenda item (a) Peace and Security, including Confidence-building Measures, and (b) Jammu and Kashmir, on the basis of the 23rd June, 1997 Agreement. The talks were held in a cordial and frank atmosphere within the framework of the composite and integrated dialogue process.

The deliberations between the Foreign Secretaries were guided by the shared belief of their Prime Ministers as expressed in their joint Statement of 23 September, 1998 that an environment of durable peace and security was in the supreme interest of both countries, and the region as a whole, and that the peaceful settlement of all outstanding issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, was essential for this purpose.

The Foreign Secretary of India called on the Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr. Nawaz Sharif, and conveyed to him a message of goodwill from Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee. The Prime Minister of Pakistan warmly reciprocated the Indian Prime Minister’s good wishes. The Indian Foreign Secretary also called on Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz.

The meeting on 16th October, 1998 discussed issues of peace and security, including Confidence Building Measures. Both sides underscored their commitment to reduce the risk of a conflict by builiding mutual confidence in the nuclear and conventional fields.

The meeting on 17th October discussed Jammu and Kashmir. The two sides reiterated their respective positions.

The two Foreign Secretaries agreed that the next round of talks on the issues of Peace and Security and Confidence Building Measures and Jammu and Kashmir, respectively, and a review of the round would be held in the first half of February, 1999 in New Delhi.

Islamabad
October 18, 1998


Joint Press Statement

As part of the composite and integrated dialogue between India and Pakistan on the basis of the agreed agenda of 23rd June, 1997, Wullar Barrage/Tulbul Navigation Project was discussed in New Delhi on 5.11.1998. The Indian delegation was led by Shri Z. Hasan Secretary to Government of India, Ministry of Water Resources and the Pakistan delegation was led by Syed Shahid Husain Secretary to Government of Pakistan, Ministry of Water and Power.

Syed Shahid Husain will call on Shri B.C. Mishra, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister of India.

The discussions were held in a frank and constructive atmosphere. While reaffirming their continued commitment to the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960, both sides exchanged views and took note of the previous discussions on the subject from October 1987 to August 1992.

It was agreed that the discussions would continue at the next round of the dialogue process with a view to finding a solution to the issue consistent with the provisions of the Treaty.

New Delhi
November 5, 1998


Joint Press Statement

As part of the composite and integrated dialogue process between India and Pakistan on the basis of the agreed agenda of the Joint Statement of June 23, 1997, discussions were held on the Siachen issue in Delhi on November 6, 1998. The Indian delegation at these discussions was led by Defence Secretary, Shri Ajit Kumar and the Pakistani delegation by Defence Secretary Lt Gen (Retd.) Iftikhar Ali Khan.

The Pakistan Defence Secretary also called on Raksha Mantri (Defence Minister), Shri George Fernandes.

Discussions were held in a frank and cordial atmosphere. The two sides stated their respective positions on the issue.

It was agreed to continue discussions on the issue during the next round of the dialogue process.

New Delhi
November 6, 1998


Joint Press Statement

As part of the composite and integrated dialogue between India and Pakistan on the basis of the agreed agenda of 23 June, 1997, Sir Creek was discussed in New Delhi on 9th November, 1998.

The Indian delegation was led by Lt. Gen. A.K Ahuja, Surveyor General of India and the Pakistan delegation was led by Rear Admiral M. Jameel Akhtar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Defence.

The discussions were held in a frank and cordial atmosphere. The two sides stated their respective positions.

It was agreed to continue discussions during the next round of the dialogue process.

New Delhi
November 9, 1998


Joint Press Statement

As part of the composite and integrated dialogue process between India and Pakistan on the basis of the agreed agenda of June 23, 1997, discussions were held on Economic and Commercial cooperation in Delhi on November 10, 1998. The Indian delegation at these discussions was led by Commerce Secretary, Shri P.P. Prabhu, and the Pakistan delegation by Commerce Secretary, Mr. Mohammad Sulaiman.

Mr. Mohammad Sulaiman will call on Commerce Minister, Shri R.K. Hegde at 1600 hrs. today

The discussions were held in a frank and cordial atmosphere.

They exchanged views on various aspects of Economic and Commercial Cooperation and decided to continue discussions at the next round of the dialogue process.

New Delhi
November 10, 1998


Joint Press Statement

As part of the composite and integrated dialogue between India and Pakistan on the basis of the agreed agenda of 23 June, 1997, Terrorism and Drug Trafficking were discussed in New Delhi on 12 the November, 1998.

The Indian delegation was led by Shri B.P. Singh, Home Secretary and the Pakistan delegation was led by Mr. Hafeezullah Ishaq, Secretary, Ministry of Interior.

The discussions were held in a frank and cordial atmosphere. The two sides stated their respective positions.

It was agreed to continue discussions during the next round of the dialogue process.

New Delhi
November 12,1998


Joint Press Statement

As part of the composite and integrated dialogue between India and Pakistan on the basis of the agreed agenda of 23rd June 1997. Promotion of Friendly Exchanges in Various Fields was discussed in New Delhi on the 13th November 1998. The Indian delegation was led by Dr. R.V. Vaidyanatha Ayyar, Secretary, Department of Culture, and the Pakistan delegation was led by Syed Roshan Zamir, Secretary of Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs of the Government of Pakistan.

Syed Roshan Zamir will call on Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi, Minister for Human Resources Development.

The discussions were held in a frank, cordial and constructive atmosphere.

Both sides exchanged views on various aspects of Promotion of Friendly Exchanges between India and Pakistan and agreed to continue discussions at the next round of the dialogue process.

New Delhi
November 13,1998


Trade Relations

Historical Background||Composition||Problems & Alternative routes||Future Prospects ||Trade Statistics

Till 1947, India and Pakistan were complementary components of a single political unit. Goods and traders moved across freely between them. In the early years, India imported raw jute, raw cotton, food grains and such other raw material from Pakistan while Pakistan imported coal, textiles, sugar, matches, jute goods, iron and steel and a few other manufactured goods. Since partition, much water has flown across the border and trade relations between the two countries have fluctuated in tandem with the over all political relations between the two countries.

Historical Background and Trade Trends

The figures of bilateral' trade between India and Pakistan since independence are given below. It can be seen from the Table that trade between the two countries which was at a peak in 1948-49 in absolute terms (Rs. 184.60 Crores) tapered off and stagnated at a much lower level for many years. It was only in 1991-92 that the total trade crossed this peak in absolute terms (Rs. 240.1 Crores). During the post 1965 Indo-Pak war period of 1966-1975, there was virtually no trade. Bilateral trade did resume in 1975-76, but it remained at an insignificant level till very recently. In 1950- 51, when the planned era started in India, the total foreign trade of India was estimated at Indian Rupees 1214 Crores. In the same year, Indo- Pakistan trade was Rs 74.47 Crores which worked out to 6.13% of India's global trade. Although the total Indo-Pak trade has been growing in absolute terms in recent years, its percentage share in India's global trade can hardly be considered significant. In year 1999-2000 Indo-Pakistan bilateral trade amounted to Rs 702.9 crores. India's total bilateral trade during the same year amounted to Rs 317702.16 crores. Indo-Pakistan bilateral trade amounted to 0.22% of India's total trade. It is also interesting to note that throughout the period of recorded Indo-Pak trade, India had a positive trade balance only in a few financial years and in all other years it was mostly in favor of Pakistan. However, since 1993-94, India has enjoyed a growing trade surplus with Pakistan. The situation changed in 1998-99 mainly because of major sugar exports of Pakistan to India. During 1999-2000, the trade between the two countries declined as there was no export of sugar either from India or from Pakistan. During the year 1999-2000, the total Indian exports to Pakistan were estimated at Indian Rs. 405.34 Crores and India imported from Pakistan goods valued at Indian Rs. 296.74 Crores. During the first nine months of the last FY 2000-01 (April-becernber 2000), for which DGCIS trade f igures are available, there has been substantial increase in India's exports to Pakistan. The total bilateral trade during this period of 841.7 crore has already exceeded by 19.74% over the total trade during the FY 1999-00.

Composition of the Bilateral Trade Basket

The main items of Indian exports to Pakistan were tea, spices, guargum meal, oil meals, fruits and vegetable seeds, iron ore, processed minerals and ores, drugs and pharmaceuticals, dyes and intermediaries, organic, inorganic agro chemicals, rubber manufactures, paints and enamels, paper and wood products, plastic and linoleum, metal manufactures, iron and steel and manmade fibres. The main items of Indian imports from Pakistan were - fruits and nuts, organic and inorganic chemicals, textile yarn, fabrics and made ups, sugar, leather, metal scrap and metaliferous ores and electronic goods.

Restrictions and Problems for Trade

Pakistan follows a highly restrictive trade regime with India and there are several constraints, which adversely affect free trade between the two countries. First along the land border between India and Pakistan, there is only one trade transit point with rail / road link and customs / Immigration facilities, that too with very limited facilities for loading, unloading, transit storage and transshipment. Trade by road is not allowed except by rail. Secondly, Government of Pakistan has permitted only 600 items that can be imported from India. Thirdlyalthough India has unilaterally given MFN status to Pakistan, the latter has not reciprocated. Fourthlybilateral shipping arrangements do not permit loading by ships of one country cargoes meant for third countries at sea ports of the other country. While India has liberalized the visa regime significantly and Business visa seekers are now not required to stand in the queue and are given exemption from police reporting almost routinely, the same is not the case with the visiting Indian businessmen. At the Colombo SAARC Summit in December 1999, India had announced removal of quantitative restrictions on 2,000 items for SAARC countries including Pakistan, which was an additional concession to Pakistan. Pakistan has linked normalization of economic and commercial ties with India to resolution of the "core" issue of Kashmir.

Informal and "alternative route" trade

Despite restrictions and impediments, supply and demand economics operates in Indo-Pakistan bilateral trade. There is a significant volume of informal trade, which takes place between the two countries. Indian goods are also shipped to Pakistan via third countries - mainly, in the Middle East and the Far East. On conservative estimates, the actual volume of "third country" trade between India and Pakistan is estimated to be four to f ive times of the official trade. A more liberal estimate of the via third country and smuggling channel trade mentioned in the business circles pegs the volume of close to U5 $1.0-2.0 billion.

Future Prospects and Scenario

During the last few years, there was a perceptible surge in the trade between India and Pakistan, mainly on account of increasing Indian exports. The prospects of further growth in Indo-Pak trade remain poor because of a vociferous insistence on the part of the Military government that free trade cannot be allowed until the "CORE" issue of Kashmir is resolved and until India creates a 'level playing field' by withdrawing some unspecified subsidies etc. to its industry. The enthusiasm of the Indian business community also has dampened as a result of Kargil and increase in cross border terrorism on the part of Pakistan in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The Pakistani business community still sees enormous opportunities in trading with India and keeps trying to hook up with Indian business. It may, however, be noted that there is a growing demand for Indian goods in Pakistan because of their cost and quality competitiveness and- quick and low cost of transport.

India- Pakistan Bilateral Trade - 1948-49 to 1999-2000

{Private} year Exports to Pakistan Imports from Pakistan Balance of trade Total Trade
1948-49 76.68 107.38 -30.70 184.60
1949-50 43.30 44.05 -00.75 87.35
1950-51 30.60 43.87 -13.27 74.47
1951-52 45.25 87.50 -42.25 132.75
1952-53 30.90 21.88 +09.02 52.70
1953-54 08.01 19.28 -11.27 27.29
1954-55 09.75 19.38 -09.63 27.13
1955-56 08.30 27.11 -18.81 35.41
1956-57 07.92 15.76 -07.84 23.68
1957 06.68 13.42 -06.74 20.10
1958 07.32 06.31 +01.01 13.63
1959-60 07.21 08.59 -01.38 15.80
1960-61 09.51 14.01 -04.50 23.52
1961-62 09.45 13.86 -04.41 23.31
1962-63 09.40 16.67 -07.27 26.07
1963-64 07.17 09.36 -02.19 16.53
1964-65 09.78 15.75 -05.98 25.53
1965-66 04.88 05.65 -00.77 10.53
1966-75 Negl Negl Negl Negl
1975-76 00.76 22.12 -22.34 22.90
1976-77 09.00 01.72 +07.28 10.42
1977-78 13.32 23.92 -10.59 37.25
1978-79 19.45 12.80 +06.65 32.25
1979-80 08.50 24.68 -16.18 33.18
1980-81 01.02 75.39 -74.37 76.41
1981-82 04.95 54.70 -49.75 59.65
1982-83 06.50 32.28 -25.78 38.78
1983-84 11.77 27.79 -16.02 39.56
1984-85 12.91 15.75 -02.84 28.66
1985-86 14.64 26.59 -11.95 41.23
1986-87 14.95 27.50 -12.55 42.45
1987-88 20.12 30.59 -10.77 50.71
1988-89 35.02 72.27 -36.15 108.18
1989-90 51.39 53.79 -02.40 105.18
1990-91 73.06 84.49 -10.88 168.09
1991-92 98.82 141.28 -42.46 240.10
1992-93 147.08 375.51 -228.43 522.59
1993-94 200.96 136.68 +64.28 337.64
1994-95 197/07 167.06 +12.10 347.30
1995-96 257.00 150.09 +106.10 407.90
1996-97 557.83 129.55 _428.28 687.38
1997-98 537.83 139.68 +395.46 676.82
1998-99 465.99 891.85 -425.99 1357.84
1999-2000 405.35 296.74 +108.61 702.09


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