Monday, Dec 29, 2003
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By B. Muralidhar Reddy
The ARD leaders said that their decision to stay away from the meeting had nothing to do with SAARC and was meant to deny a photograph opportunity to the ruling combine with the entire Opposition.
"Our fear was that they could have claimed it as endorsement of the agreement reached between the Government and the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal," the Pakistan People's Party senate member, Farhatullah Babar, said.
At the briefing attended by representatives of the ruling combine and the MMA, Mr. Jamali assured that his Government would take them into confidence on all important national issues.
The Foreign Minister, Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri, apprised the politicians about Pakistan's policy on Kashmir and the Government's recent confidence-building measures to mend ties with India.
The briefing was aimed at forging consensus among the political leadership of the country on important national issues ahead of SAARC.
The Opposition parties recently flayed and blamed the Government for taking a u-turn on Kashmir issue.
The Pakistan President, Pervez Musharraf's statement that Pakistan was ready to set aside the U.N. resolutions on Kashmir if India showed flexibility in its stance on the dispute had drawn flak from several quarters.
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