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Press Release on the decision of the International court of Justice in the aerial incident case filed by Pakistan against India

New Delhi
June 21, 2000

Government of India welcomes the decision of the International court of Justice in the Aerial Incident case filed by Pakistan against India regarding the shooting down of a military combat aircraft of Pakistan (Atlantique) over Indian air space on August 10, 1999, With a decisive 14-2 verdict, the Court has upheld India's submission that it had no jurisdiction in this matter.

India also welcomes the Court's observations regarding the Simla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration. Through its comments, the court has vindicated India's stand on these landmark agreements that are the very cornerstone of India-Pakistan relations. It is noteworthy that the Simla Agreement commits both countries to building trust and confidence, putting in place a stable structure of cooperation and addressing all outstanding issues through peaceful bilateral discussions. That is what India had sought to accomplish through the composite dialogue process that was established at our initiative. That was also the high purpose, for which Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee traveled to Lahore in February 1999. India stands committed to dialogue and calls on Pakistan to create the proper environment for such a dialogue through cessation of cross border terrorism and the abandonment of hostile propaganda.