Press Release

The all-parties meeting called in connection with the Pakistan President’s visit to India was attended on behalf of the CPI(M) by Somnath Chatterjee, MP and S. Ramachandran Pillai, MP. Mr. Somnath Chatterjee placed the CPI(M) viewpoint, which is as follows:

1. The CPI(M) welcomes the proposed talks between the Pakistan President and the Indian Prime Minister. We have always maintained that the two countries should hold talks. The argument that there is a military ruler in Pakistan could not be the basis for not having a dialogue. Therefore the decision now of the Vajpayee government to have talks is a step in the right direction.

2. Kashmir will have to be discussed in the meeting. But other issues pertaining to trade and economic relations between the two countries have also to be taken up. There is scope for extension of economic relations. People to people relations must also be promoted.

3. Now that both countries have nuclear weapons, it poses a grave threat in the region. It is essential that steps be taken to avert any nuclear confrontation. This must also be seriously taken up in the talks.

4. The Agra meeting should be seen as resumption of dialogue and problems cannot be resolved in one instance. We must continue to pursue the path of dialogue with Pakistan to resolve all outstanding issues.


Responding to the call by the BJP and some other parties to boycott the tea party hosted by the Pakistan High Commission, if the Hurriyat leaders are invited to the function, a CPI(M) spokesman for the Polit Bureau said:

"The question of Hurriyat attending the tea party is a non-issue. Earlier the Union government was even prepared to allow a Hurriyat delegation to visit Pakistan. So the talk of boycott is incorrect."