Gilani hopeful of moving ahead through dialogue with India

Pakistan is hopeful of moving forward through dialogue with India as responsible nations believe in resolving their outstanding issues through talks, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Sunday.

Lahore: Pakistan is hopeful of moving
forward through dialogue with India as responsible nations
believe in resolving their outstanding issues through talks,
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Sunday.

"I personally have very good relations with the Indian
leadership. Responsible nations believe in talks and dialogue
and I hope we will move forward through the talks," he said
while interacting with a small group of journalists here.

Pakistan`s ties with India were hit by the 2008 Mumbai
terrorist attacks but were now improving, he said. "The
relations between the two countries remained suspended for a
while after the Mumbai attacks but when I met with (India`s)
leadership in Thimphu, they started improving," he said.

India`s Foreign and Interior Ministers had visited
Pakistan and "we are also engaged with India for talks on the
Siachen issue", he said, referring to the next round of talks
on the military standoff on the Himalayan glacier to be held
in New Delhi from Monday.

Asked about Pakistan`s soil being used for terrorist
attacks on other countries, Gilani said: "We have ensured that
our soil is not used for terror attacks in any country. Both
the military and political leadership are on the same page on
this issue".

He added: "Let me make it clear that we will not allow
anyone to use our territory for terror attacks in other
countries. We have lost 36,000 people in the war on terror and
I want the elimination of terrorists from my soil to make my
country peaceful".

Gilani, however, parried a question on possibility of
Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar being present in Pakistan.

Commenting on recent terrorist attacks in northwest
Pakistan and on a naval airbase in Karachi, Gilani said these
acts were a "continuation of the reaction against Osama bin
Laden`s killing".

"A terrorist is a terrorist and he cannot be
exonerated of his crimes by labelling him as a good or bad
Taliban," he said.

The government will assert itself if anyone challenged
its writ though military operations are not a permanent
solution, he said.

Responding to another question, he said the fate of
slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden`s widows and children
will be decided in accordance with the law.

Bin Laden was killed in a US raid in the garrison city
of Abbottabad on May 2. Three of his widows and several
children are currently in the custody of Pakistani
authorities.

PTI

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