Indo-Pak relatons have improved substantially, says Rice


Washington : Commending the measures initiated by India and Pakistan to better bilateral ties, US Secretary of state Condoleezza Rice has said the two Asian neighbours have come a long way since escalated tensions in the subcontinent had led to a war-like situation in 2001.

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“Relations have improved a lot. They’ve opened lines of communication in Kashmir, they’ve opened trade and bus traffic. There’s still a lot of clashes along the line of control which separates Pakistanis and India in the region of Kashmir. But it is a lot better situation than it was in 2001 and 2002,” the Secretary of State said.

Recalling the strained relations between the two countries following the terrorist attack on Indian Parliament in 2001, Rice recalled how she had kept her family waiting for a Christmas dinner as she discussed with top US and British officials the way out to prevent New Delhi and Islamabad coming to blows.

“… In December of 2001, I remember merry Christmas night being on the telephone with Colin Powell, the Secretary of State at the time, Jack Straw, who was then the foreign secretary for Great Britain, David Manning, former ambassador here who was Prime Minister Blair’s foreign policy adviser, and it looked like Pakistan and India were going to war,” Rice recounted.

“And I remember it well because my family was downstairs waiting for me to come to Christmas dinner. And we were on the phone just trying to figure out who might go into the subcontinent into South Asia to talk to them to keep them from coming to blows,” Rice told Fox News.