Nirupama Subramanian

ISLAMABAD: Prior to the Mumbai blasts, India told Pakistan that it was prepared to restore Jammu and Kashmir to its pre-1953 status, The Nation newspaper said on Monday.

A non-paper that India gave to Pakistan days before the blasts on trains in Mumbai said it was willing to consider handing over all subjects bar defence, foreign affairs and communications to the Jammu and Kashmir Government, the newspaper reported.

Quoting diplomatic sources, the report said the non-paper could become the basis for "formal discussions" on Kashmir when the peace process got back on track.

Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri mentioned the non-paper in a recent interview to Dawn but did not give details. President Pervez Musharraf also referred a few times to the "written proposals" given by India without mentioning what these were.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam declined to comment on the report.

India offered to reduce troops on the condition that militants with cross-border support "end their subversive acts," the newspaper said.

"Peace process will not be affected"

The tit-for-tat expulsions by India and Pakistan of each other's diplomats should not affect the peace process, the Pakistan Foreign Ministry said.

"In our view the expulsion should make no difference to the peace process," Ms. Aslam said at the weekly briefing.

Asked if the episode had not vitiated the atmosphere, Ms. Aslam said: "There are many things that spoil the atmosphere. When you make baseless allegations, yes, it vitiates the climate but we have to move beyond that."

There are no dates for the Foreign Secretary-level talks yet but Ms. Aslam expressed confidence that the peace process was still on track.

"We have seen some statements from the Indian leadership that the peace process has not derailed, it will continue," Ms. Aslam said.

Ms. Aslam said the peace process was not a concession that one country was making to the other but in the joint interests of both.