Indian Prime Minister Atal Behare Vajpayee has expressed new doubts whether a South Asian regional summit proposed for early next year in Pakistan can be held.
Speaking (Saturday) to Indian military commanders in New Delhi, Mr. Vajpayee indicated he might not take part in the meeting if, in his words, it is "held hostage" to the Kashmir dispute. He said India believes the focus of such a gathering should be on economic cooperation and cultural exchanges.
New Delhi has been insisting on concrete proposals on implementing a SAARC preferential trade agreement and a free trade agreement.
Pakistan has proposed January 11th to the 13th for the meeting of leaders of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
Pakistan has accused Indian officials of sowing confusion over the conference.