Indo-Pak talks should lead to resumption of peace process: Gilani
Last Updated: Wednesday, June 23, 2010, 23:26
Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Wednesday said that upcoming talks with Indian leaders and officials should lead to the resumption of the stalled peace process between the two countries.

During a meeting with visiting British Foreign Secretary William Hague, Gilani expressed the hope that the talks between the Foreign Secretaries tomorrow and between the Interior Ministers over the weekend "would pave the way for resumption of the long-awaited peace process" between India and Pakistan.

Gilani said Pakistan desired "friendly, good neighbourly and cooperative relations with India" and the resumption of the peace process "through a constructive and result-oriented dialogue to resolve all outstanding issues like Kashmir, water dispute, Sir Creek, Siachen as well as terrorism."

Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao arrived is Islamabad today to hold talks tomorrow with her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir.

Rao is the first senior Indian official to visit Pakistan since the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, which sent bilateral relations into a tail spin.

Home Minister P Chidambaram will arrive here on June 25 with a high-level Indian delegation to participate in a SAARC Interior Ministers meeting.

He will also hold talks with Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik on the sidelines of the regional meet.

During his meeting with Hague, Gilani also said he was hopeful that Pakistan-UK relations and cooperation in fields like defence, trade, investment and economic aid would attain new heights under the new British government.

Gilani told Hague of the plan prepared by the Pakistan government for the sustainable development of the volatile tribal belt over the next nine years and the development and reconstruction strategy for the militancy-hit Malakand and Swat regions.

He also stressed the need for donor countries to deliver on their pledges to provide aid to Pakistan.

Referring to Pakistan-Afghanistan relations, Gilani said his government wants to see Afghan society re-establishing "its own equilibrium."

The reconciliation and reintegration process in the neighbouring country should be "Afghan-owned and Afghan-led," he said.

Hague said the British government had announced an aid package of 50 million pounds for stabilisation and reconstruction of militancy-hit areas along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.


First Published: Wednesday, June 23, 2010, 23:26

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