RealNews

Indian PM winds up Kashmir tour with peace gestures to Pakistan

Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee wound up a two-day tour to strife-torn Kashmir with peace offers to Pakistan and separatists, as well as a promise of jobs for ordinary Kashmiris. Vajpayee launched his tour to Kashmir — the second within a year to the region — by offering a hand of friendship to Pakistan Friday during a massive rally in Srinagar, the summer capital. Responding to that speech, Pakistan Prime Minister Zafarullah Jamali Friday welcomed Vajpayee’s offer, but said Islamabad would not compromise on its stand on the disputed territory. Pakistan wants a UN-sponsored plebiscite to allow Kashmiris to exercise their right of self-determination. “We welcome wholeheartedly Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s offer for negotiation to resolve disputes between the two countries,” said Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri. Full Story

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