Islamabad: Ahead of the crucial Foreign
Secretary-level talks here, Pakistan Premier Yousuf Raza
Gilani on Tuesday said the "core issues" between the two countries
should be addressed with sincerity in the bilateral dialogue
Gilani "underlined the imperative of addressing the core
issues with sincerity" under the dialogue process that resumed
earlier this year.
He also highlighted the need for "increased trade between
the two countries as well as the importance of
people-to-people contacts," particularly enhanced exchanges of
parliamentarians to bring the people of the two countries
Gilani made the remarks while interacting at the Prime
Minister`s House with a Sikh delegation led by Chaudhry Abhay
Singh, a member of the assembly of Haryana state.
The Premier also expressed his satisfaction that the
dialogue between the two countries had resumed and meetings of
the Interior, Commerce and Defence Secretaries had already
His remarks came ahead of Foreign Secretary Nirupama
Rao`s visit here to hold talks with her Pakistani counterpart
Salman Bashir on June 23-24, during which the two sides would
take stock of the progress made during the series of
high-level meetings between the two countries in key areas of
security, trade and commerce and water.
Referring to his visit to Mohali to witness the cricket
World Cup semi-final, Gilani recalled his "useful interaction"
with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh and other leaders.
He reciprocated Singh`s "keen desire to discuss all the
issues between the two countries" and said Pakistan and India
"must resolve all the core disputes to live peacefully and to
divert their attentions towards addressing the common problems
of poverty and socio-economic development."
Gilani also underlined the need for proper maintenance
and upkeep of religious shrines and other holy places of every
religion in both countries.
He said pilgrims from the two countries should be
facilitated during visits to their respective shrines.
The Sikh delegation expressed its satisfaction at the
upkeep and care of gurdwaras and holy places in Pakistan.
The Sikh leaders thanked the people and government of
Pakistan for the hospitality.