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'Musharraf backtracked'

The External Affairs Minister, Yashwant Sinha, and the Minister of State, Digvijay Singh, greeting each other after the former assumed office at the South Block in New Delhi on Wednesday . — Photo: Anu Pushkarna

The External Affairs Minister, Yashwant Sinha, and the Minister of State, Digvijay Singh, greeting each other after the former assumed office at the South Block in New Delhi on Wednesday . — Photo: Anu Pushkarna  

NEW DELHI JULY 3. The External Affairs Minister, Yashwant Sinha, said today that India needed to be ``very, very careful'' in its dealings with the Pakistan President, Pervez Musharraf.

``He tried to backtrack from his assurance not once but three to four times,'' Mr. Sinha told presspersons after taking over his new assignment. He was apparently referring to Gen. Musharraf's interview to the Newsweek and the BBC where the Pakistani leader had claimed that he had not given any commitment to the United States to stop infiltration permanently. — PTI

Sinha remarks resented

B. Muralidhar Reddy reports from Islamabad

In a sharp reaction to the reported remarks made by Mr. Sinha that Pakistan is reneging on its promise to rein in infiltration, Islamabad said it was New Delhi that was "hedging and going back on its commitments."The Press Secretary to the Pakistan President, Rashid Quereshi, told The Hindu that he was `shocked' to learn about the reported remarks made by Mr. Sinha. ``Frankly either the new Minister is ignorant or it is a design by India to go back on its promises. We in Pakistan and in fact the whole world thought the ball was in India's court and it was for India to respond by taking concrete steps for de-escalation of tension and begin the process towards resumption of dialogue to discuss all issues, including Kashmir,'' Maj. Gen. Qureshi said.

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