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PM refuses to chat with General during UN summit

PM refuses to chat with General during UN summit

Author: Devesh Kumar
Publication: The Economic Times
Date: November 3, 2001

Introduction: PM refuses to chat with General during UN summit

Two days before he sets off on a three-nation tour, including the United States, PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee effectively scotched all speculations about a possible meeting with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on the sidelines of the UNGA meet.

"I told Gen Musharraf that talks should not be held just for the sake of it. There should be results. That's why I've declined his offer to meet him," Mr Vajpayee said. Speculation that the Prime Minister, his reluctance notwithstanding, may have to meet General Musharraf persisted in the light of the US' keenness to get the dialogue process re-started. Mr Vajpayee seemed to acknowledge the desire of the US and other Western nations for a new round of Indo-Pak talks, but was firm that talks can be held only when some preconditions are met.

'I've placed these facts before the countries which want a resumption of the peace-process. I told them categorically that talks cannot be resumed unless cross-border terrorism is stopped, I also asked them to apply pressure on Pakistan. We're patient, but our neighbour should show the same behaviour,' he asserted, while addressing a BJP workers meet here late this afternoon. However, he also made light of all talk of the two countries going to war.

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