Today's Paper

Shimla pact provides the framework: Sonia

NEW DELHI AUG. 10. Reiterating her party's stand of having cordial and good neighbourly relations with Pakistan, the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, has favoured the process of dialogue between the two countries for resolving all contentious issues.

"The Shimla Agreement signed by Indira Gandhi and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1972 provides the framework within which the two countries can discuss all issues and build a durable friendly relationship," Ms. Gandhi said.

In her message to the South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) conference being held in Islamabad, she said it provided a "good occasion for building confidence between our two countries and peoples". The Congress had welcomed the initiative of the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, to resume talks with the Pakistani Government, she said. "However, for a conducive atmosphere for having meaningful talks or negotiations, it is essential that cross-border terrorism must cease."