`India, Pak should resolve differences with trust and courage`

Last Updated: Thursday, September 27, 2012 - 23:03

New York: India and Pakistan should find the trust and courage to resolve the differences, including Kashmir, to disarm the naysayers that have divided the entire region for the last few decades, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said on Thursday.

"Kashmiris should get the same rights that are afforded and awarded to other people in the world," Khar said at the Asia Society.

"...If we are not able to find the trust and courage to resolve these issues, we will not be able to disarm the naysayers that have divided the entire region for the last few decades," she said.

Khar, who is in New York to attend the 67th session on UN General Assembly, said, "Kashmir continues to be an issue that stokes anger and discontent among young people in the region and we think a resolution to it is urgent and important."

She said Pakistan has its position on Kashmir and it believes that the Security Council resolution should be followed.

She said other territorial disputes with India on Sir Creek and Siachen also remains.
Her comments came a day after President Asif Ali Zardari said Kashmir remains a symbol of failure of the UN system and Pakistan`s principled position on territorial disputes remains a bedrock of its foreign policy.

"Kashmir remains a symbol of failures, rather than strengths of the UN system," Zardari said in his 20-minute speech at the 67th session of the UN General Assembly here.

"We feel that resolution of these issues can only be arrived in an environment of cooperation," he said.

Khar said that if India and Pakistan are not able to find
the trust to resolve the issues among them, the two countries will not be to disarm those on both sides of the border who have created hostilities and animosity in the brains and minds of the children of the two countries against each other.

She said Pakistan does not want to develop into a country that in the future is defined as being a country that is against another nation.

"The question is whether we wait to resolve all these complex issues before talking to our Indian friends about all the other areas in which we can make progress, whether we strengthen our hands as we build the trust to resolve these issues or do we continue to create war mongering and hostility," she said.

Khar noted that the two countries have not achieved anything in the last 60 years of war mongering.

"Six decades have taught us that war is not the answer. There are no military solution. We should at least give six years to the trust building environment which will enable us us to try and solve these important issues," she said.

Stressing that it was high time to "turn the equation around", Khar said Pakistan has turned to the vast and untapped potential of trade and people to people contact to to help build trust and elevate the level of confidence that we have in each other "so that tomorrow when we have better trust we will be able to discuss the more difficult issues more frankly and candidly with a view to raising solutions."

"We decided that instead of being problem perpetrators we will be problem solvers," she said adding that "along the way and every step we have invited our Indian friends to meet us in this journey at least half the way".

Khar termed Indian External Affairs Minister S M
Krishna`s recent visit to Islamabad as a "very very useful" trip in which landmark agreements were reached on the visa regime.

"With India we have reversed a 40-year-old policy and that is the communication to them that we are willing to move forward and willing to forget the past and create a new beginning," she said adding that trade and commerce will enhance economic opportunities for the people of the countries.

"We must stop living under the canopy of fear and hostility. We have done that for too long."

PTI



First Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012 - 23:03

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