Thursday, Jul 17, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
Mr. Gujral, who arrived here today on a two-day visit to Chennai and Pondicherry, told reporters at the airport that he was "happy to see the momentum of peace talks picking up in both India and Pakistan".
The revival of the Lahore-Delhi bus service and the performance of a surgery on a Pakistani child in India would pave the way for furthering the "peace initiatives," Mr. Gujral said and urged the two Governments to further relax the "visa rules and regulations" which would send positive signals for bettering the mutual trade and diplomatic ties.
"One cannot hold talks in the backdrop of gunshots on the Indo-Pak. borders. I also strongly feel that the talks cannot resume with cross-border terrorism. It has to stop for the resumption of peace talks at the highest Governmental level," Mr. Gujral said urging the two Governments to expedite permission for the restoration of air corridor and to resume full-level air and rail links.
Asked whether he was happy over the Centre's decision of not sending Indian troops to Iraq, Mr. Gujral endorsed the Government's decision. "If at all the Indian Government wants to send our troops it should be based on requests from genuinely elected people of Iraq to help stabilise the crisis situation".
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