Musharraf: I’ll meet Vajpayee if he so wishes

  • AseanPlus News
  • Monday, 08 Dec 2003

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has hinted at a possible meeting with Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on the sidelines of next month's regional summit in Islamabad, reports said yesterday. 

“President Musharraf said he would meet? Vajpayee on the sidelines of the SAARC summit only if he wished so,” Dawn daily quoted Musharraf as telling the reporters. 

“Otherwise I will not meet him.” 

A summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) is due to take place from Jan 4 to 6 in Islamabad. The seven-member SAARC forum, founded in 1985, groups Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. 

Vajpayee has written to his Pakistani counterpart Zafarrulah Jamali confirming his participation in a regional summit next month with Pakistan welcoming it. Vajpayee has also said he would meet Jamali on the sidelines of the summit, but there has been no indication of his meeting with Musharraf. 

Vajpayee and Musharraf last held a peace summit in July 2001 in the northern Indian city of Agra. However, the talks collapsed over Kashmir. 

Musharraf said he had time and again expressed his willingness to have a meeting with Vajpayee but New Delhi had “never responded positively to his gesture”. – AFP  

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