India should also address our concerns: Pak FM

Pakistan respects India`s concerns on terrorism and the Mumbai trial, and New Delhi should do the same by addressing Islamabad`s interests like Kashmir and water sharing, for dialogue to succeed, Foreign Minister Qureshi said.

Updated: Jul 29, 2010, 21:51 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan respects India`s
concerns on terrorism and the Mumbai trial, and New Delhi
should do the same by addressing Islamabad`s interests like
Kashmir and water sharing, for dialogue to succeed, Foreign
Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Thursday.

He also laid emphasis on narrowing down the trust
deficit between the two sides.

"Pakistan respects their (India`s) concerns and wants
to accommodate them, be they related to terrorism or the
Mumbai trial.
"At the same time, (India) should give importance to
issues of interest to Pakistan, such as the situation in Jammu
and Kashmir, the waters issues, the Siachen issue and the Sir
Creek issue," Qureshi said.

The two countries should sit together and talk about
their concerns and then "take such steps for which there is a
need, and which will restore confidence and narrow the trust
deficit," Qureshi said during an interaction with reporters in
the southern city of Karachi.

"This will improve the situation for both countries
and the region," he said.

Responding to a question on the peace process between
the two countries, Qureshi said, "Dialogue is the right path.
At this time, there is no appropriate path other than talks".

Qureshi`s meeting with External Affairs Minister S M
Krishna ended on an acrimonious note two weeks back, with
India insisting the Pakistan should address its concerns on
terrorism.

Krishna, however, did extend an invitation to his
Pakistani counterpart to visit New Delhi and take the
discussions forward.

Qureshi later said he does not intend to visit India
on a "leisure trip" but only for "meaningful dialogue".

Qureshi today recalled that when the Prime Ministers
of India and Pakistan had met on the sidelines of a SAARC
summit in Bhutan in April, they had decided that the two sides
would resume their dialogue "where it was snapped and resolve
our outstanding issues through talks".

"Pakistan is always ready for wherever and whenever
they want to engage us," he said.
Replying to a question on the proposed Afghanistan-
Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement, Qureshi made it clear that
the pact would not benefit India in any way.

"There should be no confusion. The transit trade pact
is only between Pakistan and Afghanistan. India has no
reference or role in it," he said.

This was very clear in the "note of understanding" on
the pact signed by the commerce ministers of Pakistan and
Afghanistan recently, he said.

No back door diplomacy" with India: Basit

Pakistan and India are not
currently engaged in any "back door diplomacy", a senior
official said today.

Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit made the remarks
during the weekly news briefing when he was asked if the two
countries were conducting any back channel negotiations.

India`s External Affairs Minister S M Krishna had sent
a message to his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi
expressing his condolences on the plane crash in Islamabad
yesterday, Basit said.

PTI