Constructive engagement with India vital for good ties: Gilani

The Indo-Pak trade talks were suspended in the wake of Mumbai terror attacks.

Islamabad: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that constructive engagement with India was vital for both countries to move towards the goal of establishing good neighbourly relations.

Gilani told Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and Commerce and Trade Secretary Zafar Mehmood that Pakistan wanted to move towards a comprehensive and broad-ranging engagement with India on the basis of equality, mutual trust and respect, and national interest.

The two senior officials called on Gilani on Tuesday ahead of the April 27-28 trade talks here between Pakistan and India, reported Associated Press of Pakistan.

Gilani asked Mehmood to take on board all the stakeholders for establishment of mutually beneficial trade relations with India.

Mehmood said that Pakistan-India trade volume was around USD 2 billion and 1,946 items were being traded between the two countries.

The trade talks between India and Pakistan were suspended in the aftermath of the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

This is the second high-level interaction between the two countries after the resumption of the India-Pakistan dialogue.

Home secretaries of the two countries met in New Delhi on March 28 and 29. The talks were termed "extremely positive" and in the right direction.

The meeting between Indian Home Secretary GK Pillai and his Pakistani counterpart Chaudhry Qamar Zaman was followed by an informal meeting on March 30 between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on the sidelines of the India-Pakistan cricket World Cup semi-final match in Mohali, near Chandigarh.


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