The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Singh echoes Pervez on Sonia

New Delhi, Nov. 27: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today endorsed General Pervez Musharraf's view that Sonia Gandhi should play a proactive role to help resolve the Kashmir tangle.

In a recent interview to The Telegraph, the Pakistan President had said the Congress chief could help 'in thrashing out a consensus in India on the Kashmir dispute' and he was confident that if Sonia took the lead, there would be a breakthrough in Indo-Pak ties.

'Definitely yes. She is the Congress president and the chairperson of the UPA,' the Prime Minister said, when asked about Musharraf's comment after Jharkhand Mukti Morcha chief Shibu Soren was sworn in as coal minister.

Singh said he might go to Pakistan some time next year. 'I have the invitation to visit Pakistan and I have accepted it.'

He said his talks with Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz earlier this week were held in a 'good atmosphere' and that his government would sincerely try to improve bilateral ties.

The Prime Minister also hinted at a rethink on the petrol and diesel price hikes once global crude prices stabilised. 'A stable pricing system should be there'. We will try and evolve a system to deal with prices (of petroleum products) once international prices stabilise.'

On his upcoming maiden meeting with Chinese premier Wen Jiabao on the sidelines of the Asean-India summit in Laos, he said it would be an opportunity to know the Chinese leader. 'India wants good relations with China.'

Singh dismissed fears that his letter to Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa on Kanchi seer Jayendra Saraswati would influence the judicial process. He said he had written the letter in view of the sentiments of the people and the large following the seer has.

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