India Urges Pakistan to Hold Nuclear Talks
India said Thursday it wanted talks with Pakistan on developing confidence-building measures (CBMs) on the use of nuclear and conventional weapons, so as to reduce tensions in South Asia.
"India has proposed unilaterally a meeting of officials and non-officials to examine CBMs in conventional and nuclear fields," Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh said,
"We are very desirous of engaging Pakistan in talks on conventional and nuclear fields," Singh added in his briefing to reporters on this weekend's summit between Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf.
Musharraf arrives in New Delhi on Saturday and will hold talks with Vajpayee in the Taj Mahal city of Agra the following day.
India and Pakistan conducted tit-for-tat nuclear tests in May 1998 and last week, Vajpayee proposed an "expert-level" dialogue between the two countries on easing nuclear tension in the sub-continent.
So far, Pakistan has not responded to the offer.
Asked to respond to Musharraf's offer of a "no war pact" with India, Singh said this was not a new proposal.
"The first such proposal was made by India in 1949," Singh said. "More recently, President Musharraf has said he would not be averse to it. We welcome it but such a pact needs to be a composite one and it should also include proxy war." -- NEW DELHI (AFP)
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)