NATIONAL

No plan to meet Pak.Minister: Shourie

TOKYO, JAN. 20. The Indian and Pakistani Ministers attending the International Conference on Reconstruction of Afghanistan, which begins tomorrow, have no plans to meet on the sidelines of the meeting.

The Disinvestment Minister and leader of the Indian delegation, Arun Shourie, told reporters today that he had no ``particular plan'' to meet the Pakistan Finance Minister, Shaukat Aziz, who heads the Pakistani delegation. He said that India-Pakistan relations were dealt with by other Ministers and the Prime Minister, A.B. Vajpayee, himself.

Mr. Shourie said Pakistan was not one of the countries with whom India planned joint projects to help in the reconstruction of Afghanistan. The Indian Minister will, however, have bilateral meetings with heads of delegations from several other countries over the next two days.

Asked if he planned to meet the Indian Minister, the Pakistani Minister told The Hindu: ``I have no idea who is here.'' Mr. Aziz, too, made it clear that he had no plans to meet the leader of the Indian delegation.

The Tokyo conference on Afghan reconstruction is possibly the first occasion when Indian and Pakistani Ministers will be attending a major international event.

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