INDIA INTELLIGENCE REPORT

 

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More confidence-building
measures in the offing

What is India News Service,  Friday, 15 April 2005, 1500 hrs IST


With India and Pakistan looking positively at the results of the recently introduced Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service, space has opened up for more Kashmir-related confidence-building measures as the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, prepares to hold talks with the Pakistani President, Pervez Musharraf, on Saturday.

On the table are proposals for family reunions and meetings along the Line of Control in Mendhar, Poonch, Suchetgarh, Uri and Tangdhar along the Neelam Valley, a suggestion made in concrete terms by India to Pakistan in December, 2004.

Senior officials here told The Hindu on Thursday that such meetings in a "crude form" were already taking place along a riverbank in Tangdhar, with families gathering on both sides in the presence of security personnel.

The initial Pakistani response was a trifle lukewarm, but since the rapturous welcome to the April 7 Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service, there were signs that Islamabad might have shed its inhibitions to several cross-Kashmir proposals made by India.

Just after the bus began, the Pakistani Foreign Minister, Khurshid Kasuri, said the opening of more entry points along the LoC was possible as another confidence-building measure. "We are in the process of overcoming some minor troubles. This process could be brought forward after overcoming these hindrances," Mr. Kasuri was quoted as telling GEO TV.

Indo-Pak can fight terrorism together: PM: With fresh terrorist threats to the second bus to be run next week between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said it was the joint responsibility of India and Pakistan to provide security cover to the passengers and expressed hope they can work together in fighting the sources of terrorism in the region.

T-72 ammunition deal sent to CBI: The Ministry of Defence in its additional affidavit filed in the Supreme Court on the controversial Kargil purchases, has taken a contrary stand from that of the previous affidavit regarding the Rs 116.83 crore T-72 Tank ammunition deal, which was now being referred for investigation to the CBI along with 22 other purchases made during the conflict.

Pranab clarifies govt stand on 2nd affidavit

Too early to expect solution on Kashmir: Brajesh: Observing that the atmosphere Friday was not yet conducive for compromises by either India or Pakistan, former National Security Advisor Brajesh Mishra has said it was "too early" to expect a resolution of the Kashmir dispute.

Pakistan still abetting terrorism in valley: Pranab: The Defence Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, today accused Pakistan of adopting \93double standards\94 on terrorism and blamed it for helping terrorists in infiltrating in the Kashmir valley.

Advani, Vajpayee discuss RSS-BJP spat: Bharatiya Janata Party President L.K. Advani today met former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to discuss the recent crisis of confidence within the Sangh Parivar.


States

Ambala-Zirakpur 4-laning contract next month: Road infrastructure in the country is expected to expand significantly in the next seven years with
the Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways encouraging private participation in its plans of Rs 1,72,000-crore investment in the
development of highways.

NCP, Cong clash for RS seat: The ruling Democratic Front partners, Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), may have engaged themselves in a war of nerves to wrest the Rajya Sabha seat vacated by erstwhile Shiv Sena leader and the likely Sonia Gandhi party entrant Sanjay Nirupam, but what has taken precedence is the hectic lobbying going on among aspirants within the two coalition partners for securing nomination to contest the Rajya Sabha polls scheduled for April 30


View from abroad

US vows stronger ties with India: US President George W. Bush on Thursday pledged to take US-India relations to a \93much higher level.\94 The commitment was made during the course of a meeting with External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh at the Oval Office which officials later described as \93exceedingly warm and friendly.\94





Overall



More CBMs coming:
 India and Pakistan are encouraged by the success of the international bus service.

Pranab accused Pakistan of abetting terror: The defence minister said the neighbour was adopting "double standards".

Bush wants better ties with India: The American President pledged to take India-US relations higher.