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Pak express commitment to peaceful relations with India

Last Updated: Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 22:14

Islamabad: Pakistan on Thursday expressed its commitment to peaceful relations with India, saying the bilateral dialogue process should continue uninterrupted so that the two sides could work for prosperity in the region.

"We believe that the dialogue process should continue uninterrupted and the two countries should work together to bring peace and prosperity to both countries and to our region," spokesman Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said during the weekly news briefing at the Foreign Office.

Pakistan remained "fully committed to good neighbourly and peaceful relations with India" and had "refrained from casting allegations", he said in response to a question about the status of bilateral relations in the wake of tensions caused by a string of violations of the ceasefire along the Line of Control earlier this year.

"We have always tried to use the established diplomatic channels to find solutions to any problem that may arise," Chaudhry said.

"Even on the LoC (ceasefire) violations, Pakistan had demonstrated responsible behaviour."

Asked if steps had been taken to reschedule a meeting on water issues that was cancelled recently, the spokesman said the matter was governed by the Indus Waters Treaty and the waters commissioners of both countries were in contact with each other.

"The Wullar Barrage issue is part of the composite dialogue. As soon as the dates for the next round of talks are fixed, the dialogue will take place," he said without giving details.

In response to another question, Chaudhry said authorities were taking steps to facilitate foreign observers who wished to visit Pakistan for the general election to be held in May.

Pakistan had not received any application from India for a visit by poll observers, he said.
Foreign diplomats had expressed interest in the procedure for the polls but there were "no concerns", Chaudhry said.

The last general election in 2008 was observed by many foreign observers and this year, the Election Commission and the Foreign, Interior and Information Ministries had put together a simple procedure for observers, he said.

"The government of Pakistan has expressed its commitment to facilitate free, fair and transparent elections. The European Union has already approached us and we have initiated the process which is well under way. We have also been approached informally by others," he said.

President Asif Ali Zardari yesterday announced that polls to the National Assembly will be held on May 11, marking the first democratic transition in Pakistan`s history.


First Published: Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 22:13

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