NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Indira Gandhi has sent a letter to Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto reassuring him of India’s peaceful intentions in conducting the nuclear explosion last week, informed sources said today [May 23]. The [Indian] Foreign Office confirmed that a letter was sent to Islamabad by Mrs Gandhi yesterday through the usual Swiss Embassy channels, but they refused to talk about its contents. The sources, however, said it dealt with Pakistani concerns following the … explosion.

The Press Trust of India said Mrs Gandhi also reiterated India’s commitment, under the 1972 Simla accord, to settle all differences with Pakistan through bilateral negotiations. She denied that India had any ambitions to dominate or exercise any hegemony over other countries in the region and again made it clear that India had no intention of acquiring nuclear weapons. — News agencies

[Meanwhile, as reported from Gilgit,] formal discussions were held here … between the China border trade delegation and northern area administration for prospects of further promotion of border trade with Sinkiang autonomous region. … [T]he head of China’s delegation … was happy to note that … trade had increased.

Published in Dawn, May 24th, 2024

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