Indian PM welcomes Musharraf's Kashmir proposal
SHIMLA, Monday (The Hindu) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here
that the country would make "full and sincere" efforts to resolve all
bilateral problems with Pakistan through talks. Though progress had been
made in strengthening the ties with Islamabad, "several complexities"
remained, he said.
Dr. Singh welcomed the proposal of Pakistan President General
Musharraf to demilitarise a part of Kashmir. On Siachen, he said talks
were on. "We will thoroughly analyse the progress.
We are not against finding a permanent solution to the Kashmir
problem in this situation by way of talks with our neighbour. The
atmosphere now is most affable." Dr. Singh said that with the promotion
of people-to-people contacts between the two countries, the frequency of
the Srinagar-Muzafarrabad bus service would be increased.
The Prime Minister was addressing a press conference. He had visited
the tribal district of Kinnaur and dedicating the 1500 MW Nathpa Jhakri
Power Project to the nation on Saturday.
On the United Progressive Alliance's relations with the Left, Dr.
Singh said, "we continue to enjoy their progressive support, though
sometimes we differ on issues."
When asked about the discomfort of the Left on the
"non-implementation" of the National Common Minimum Programme in various
States and the absence of coordination committees there, the Prime
Minister said, "it is not necessary since we are politically apart." Dr.
Singh said that though at the Centre the co-ordination committee had
proved its utility, it was not very sure of its extension to the other
On an increase in Employees Provident Fund interest rate, Dr. Singh
said it required major reforms and it was for the board and its trustees