Pak rules out meeting between Singh and Gilani in US
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Last Updated: Saturday, April 10, 2010, 17:43
  
Islamabad: Pakistan on Saturday said no meeting has been scheduled between Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, dismissing media reports that there could be a brief encounter.

Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said Gilani and Singh will be in the same room during the Nuclear Security Summit hosted by US President Barack Obama and they might even come face to face and "shake hands" though no bilateral meeting has been scheduled.

Earlier, the Dawn newspaper had reported that Singh and Gilani may have "a brief encounter" in Washington on the sidelines of the April 12-13 Nuclear Security Summit.

Noting that Pakistan wants a meaningful dialogue with India for lasting peace on the basis of "sovereign equality and mutual respect", Basit said Islamabad was awaiting New Delhi's response to a roadmap for normalising relations.

The roadmap was handed over to India by Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir during the Foreign Secretary-level talks in February.

Sources in the Foreign Office told PTI that the roadmap included a proposal for engagements between the political leadership of the two countries, including meetings between the Foreign Ministers and Prime Ministers, as Pakistan believes little headway can be made through contacts at the level of officials like the Foreign Secretaries.

The roadmap also included a proposal for a meeting between the Prime Ministers on the sidelines of the SAARC summit in Bhutan later this month.

The sources also said Pakistan had decided to move forward on talks with India only if New Delhi gives some sort of schedule for engagements between senior political leaders of the two sides.

These engagements should also lead to the resumption of the stalled composite dialogue, the sources said.

In response to a question at the briefing, Basit said Pakistan has serious concerns about India's construction of dams in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly the Kishanganga project.

Pakistan is moving very fast to address its concerns over this particular project and wants to resolve the matter according to the Indus Waters Treaty, he added.

If India does not settle the issue, Pakistan would have to go to the World Bank, the guarantor of the Treaty, for arbitration, Basit said.

PTI


First Published: Saturday, April 10, 2010, 17:43


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