Pak rules out meeting between Singh and Gilani in US

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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