LAHORE: President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto said today [July 3] that the Simla agreement had vindicated Pakistan’s principled stand on the basic issues, and expressed the hope that the breakthrough at the first summit would open the door [to] further fruitful negotiations, leading to a better relationship between India and Pakistan. He maintained that the country’s stand on the basic issues, particularly the crucial question of Kashmir, remained unchanged, and he had kept his pledge not to enter into any secret deal, or compromise, on the fundamentals. The President was addressing a large crowd gathered at the airport to greet him on his return from Simla… . … Referring to the Kashmir issue, he said … Pakistan had made it clear to India that the people of Kashmir could not be deprived of their basic right of self-determination.

… The other two issues … were those of the withdrawal of the forces from the international frontier, and the repatriation of the POWs. While an agreement had been reached on the pull-out of the troops, the problem of repatriation was yet to be solved. His Government would, however, continue to devote its energies to the solution of the problem… .

Published in Dawn, July 4th, 2022

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