RAWALPINDI: Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto said in Paris if the question of 195 Pakistani prisoners of war is not resolved satisfactorily, then there is danger that the whole process of normalisation of relations in the Sub-continent may be put into reverse gear, Radio Pakistan reported today [April 8]. … He said he could not at present give his reaction to the way the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Pakistan, India and Bangladesh in New Delhi was taking shape.

The radio quoted Mr Bhutto as saying that the question of diplomatic relations with India should never have been mixed with the question of the recognition of Bangladesh by Pakistan, but unfortunately India took this position. Now that this hurdle was out of the way, the only problem for the restoration of relations with India in all fields was that of the release of the 195 prisoners. …

About the possibility of the summit conference between Pakistan and India as provided in the Delhi Agreement, Mr Bhutto said this also depended on the outcome of the current discussions. … After the recognition of Bangladesh, there was no more of a give and take. Pakistan had acted in complete good faith.

Published in Dawn, April 9th, 2024

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