Istanbul: India and Pakistan must try to resolve the "core issue" of Kashmir and other outstanding problems to start a "new era" of trust, amity and friendship
in the region, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said.
Addressing the third Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building in Asia (CICA) here, Qureshi noted that External Affairs Minister S M Krishna would be visiting Pakistan on July 15. "I look forward to have constructive and result-oriented dialogue with him."
"We believe that as the two largest countries in South
Asia, Pakistan and India must earnestly endeavour to resolve
all outstanding disputes including the core issue of
Jammu and Kashmir to start a new era of trust, amity and
friendship in the region," Qureshi said.
He also told the participants at the Summit that the
Prime Ministers of Pakistan and India held a constructive
meeting in Thimphu, Bhutan in April and they agreed to resume
the stalled dialogue process at the Foreign Ministers` level.
Qureshi also spoke on the issue of terrorism as well as
the situation in Afghanistan.
Pakistan, like other CICA member countries, is deeply
concerned on the continued instability in Afghanistan, he
"Terrorism remains the paramount security threat
confronting the world today. As a neighbour of Afghanistan,
Pakistan has been in the forefront of the fight against
terrorism," he said.
Pakistan has suffered enormous losses both in terms of
human lives and material, which include more than 2500
security personnel and 10,000 civilians. Economic losses
exceed USD 40 billion, he said.
"We are determined to pursue the terrorists to the very
end," he said, adding that there is a need to forge a
cooperative approach against the threat of terrorism by the
He also said the global community should address root
causes which are exploited by the terrorists to radicalise the
youths. These include economic deprivations, political
injustices, foreign occupation and denial of fundamental
rights including the "right to self-determination".
On Afghanistan, Qureshi said Pakistan has been closely
working with Turkey and other partner countries for peace,
stability and re-construction of the war-torn country.
"We support President Hamid Karzai`s initiative of
national reconciliation and re-integration. Pakistan has high
stakes in peace and stability in Afghanistan, as it would
facilitate early return of 3.5 million Afghan refugees to
their homeland in honour and dignity," he said.
Asked about Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s offer for
dialogue in Kashmir, Qureshi said Pakistan welcomed it.
"I think the speech made by Prime Minister Singh was a
very visionary speech. I welcome the speech in Kashmir and I
think it is a good offer and we should welcome it," he said.
On the agenda of the upcoming Foreign Minister-level
talks between India and Pakistan, Qureshi said the two sides
were free to raise any topic that was of concern.
"Anything and everything will be discussed and can be
discussed -- all issues of concern -- that they would want to
raise, they are welcome to raise and issues that we have we
will raise," he said on the sidelines of the CICA summit.
On a question regarding JuD chief Hafiz Saeed, the
Pakistani Foreign Minister said one has to respect the
"... as in India, in Pakistan we respect the decisions
of judiciary," he said.