Gilani hopes stalled Indo-Pak dialogue may resume soon

Last Updated: Thursday, April 22, 2010 - 14:57

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf
Raza Gilani on Thursday reciprocated the good wishes conveyed to him
by senior Indian leaders and hoped that the stalled dialogue
between the two countries would be resumed soon.

Gilani made the remarks during a meeting with
Population Welfare Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan, who visited
India recently and met several leaders, including Congress
party chief Sonia Gandhi and Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.

During her meeting with Awan, Sonia Gandhi sent her
felicitations to President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister
Gilani and the people of Pakistan on the passage of the 18th
Constitutional Amendment Bill, which strips the President of
his sweeping powers and removes changes made to the
constitution by military dictators.

Gandhi lauded the Bhutto family`s sacrifices for
democracy and appreciated Gilani`s reconciliatory policy to
bring political stability to Pakistan.

"While reciprocating the goodwill gesture of the
Indian politicians, the Prime Minister hoped (for the) early
resumption of the bilateral dialogue between the two
countries," said a statement issued by the Prime Minister`s
media office.

Pakistan desires peace and stability in the region and
looks forward to establish friendly bilateral relations with
all the countries of the region, Gilani said.

Pakistan is trying to solve regional issues through
dialogue as stability will usher in prosperity in the region,
he added.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Gilani held brief
encounters at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington last
week but no meeting was held.

"Let’s see when we visit Bhutan," Gilani had this week
said when asked whether he will meet Singh on the sidelines of
the SAARC summit there.

Awan briefed the Prime Minister on her visit to India
and her meetings with leaders of major political parties,
especially Sonia Gandhi.

She said the formation of a "Friendship Forum",
especially a Women Parliamentarians Forum, was discussed in
her meetings with lawmakers to bring both countries closer.

The Indian leaders stressed the need for
people-to-people contacts and free bilateral trade. They also
discussed proposals for socio-cultural heritage exchange
through ministries and youth of both countries, she said.

While in India, Awan also attended a reception to mark
the wedding of cricketer Shoaib Malik and tennis star Sania
Mirza. Awan represents Shoaib`s hometown of Sialkot in
Parliament.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, April 22, 2010 - 14:57

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