India not to consider Ayub’s conditional offer

The Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, told the Rajya Sabha to-day [December 12, New Delhi] that the conditions which President Ayub of Pakistan had made in his offer of no-war pact with India “have made it rather difficult for us to consider it.” President Ayub had said that certain things should be decided first before a no-war pact was signed. Normally, a pact was signed first and issues were settled later through peaceful negotiations, Mrs. Gandhi told the House. Mrs. Gandhi was replying to Mr. K.P. Mallikarjunudu who had asked about the Government’s reaction to Mr. Ayub’s offer of no-war pact. Replying to Mr. Joachim Alva whether the Government had ever examined the financial and other implications of a joint defence arrangement between India and Pakistan for the whole sub-continent, Mrs. Gandhi said Pakistan was a member of military blocs and so it was a hypothetical question. Replying to Mr. Mohan Dharla, who wanted that India should never have any talks with Pakistan on the Kashmir issue, Mrs. Gandhi said, “I don’t think there is any confusion whatsoever. Our views on Kashmir are very clear. But that does not mean that we should take an attitude of refusing to have any talks with Pakistan, when we can restate them (our views) again.”

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