In Pakistan this week, the ground was laid for greater co-operation between Pakistan and her traditional rival India.
In Pakistan this week, the ground was laid for greater co-operation between Pakistan and her traditional rival India. On Sunday (5 February), the Shah of Iran, making a short visit, was reported to have discussed with Pakistan's military leader, Mohammad Zia-Ul-Haf, his idea of a South Asian common market, which would take in both India and Pakistan. The following day (6 February), General Zia was host to India's Foreign Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who came for talks about further trade between the two countries and about ways to settle the dispute over Kashmir.
SYNOPSIS: The visit of the Shah and Empress Farah to Pakistan was brief. They were on their way home from a tour of India. The Shah managed to squeeze in an hour of talks with Pakistan's military ruler, General Zia.
Islamabad international airport was specially decorated in honour of the royal visitors, who were presented to diplomats and other Pakistan dignitaries by General Zia and Pakistan's constitutional President, Mr. Fazal Elahi Chaudhry
The Shah then left with the two leaders for the state guest house.
Here, the Shah and his official party got down to talks. The Shah briefed General Zia on his visit to India and his talks with India Prime Minister Morarji Desai.
The Shah also told General Zia that Iran had decided to allow Pakistan to pay back the billion dollars it owes Iran over 20 years instead to 10. The two leaders then discussed the Shah's proposal for a regional economic community is South Asia, which would stretch from Iran to Thailand.
The following day, Islamabad airport was busy with another visit...that of the Indian Foreign Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee. It was the first visit from an Indian minister to Pakistan since their two countries had decided to thaw their relations five years ago. Mr. Vajpayee was greeted by Pakistani Foreign Minister Agha Shahi before meeting diplomats.
Later, in the city, newsmen filmed the start of the three-days of talks between the Indian delegation, led by Mr. Vajpayee, and Pakistani foreign ministry officials. The most important issue discussed on the first day was the problem of Kashmir which both countries have been fighting over for the past 30 years.