Pak hopes for sustained engagement with India

Pakistan on Wednesday said it was hopeful that upcoming talks with India will lead to a "meaningful and sustained process of engagement" that will bridge the trust deficit between the two countries.

Last Updated: Mar 02, 2011, 09:44 AM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan on Wednesday said it was
hopeful that upcoming talks with India will lead to a
"meaningful and sustained process of engagement" that will
bridge the trust deficit between the two countries and help
resolve all outstanding issues, including the Kashmir dispute.

Reacting to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s speech in
the Indian parliament on February 24 in which he said dialogue
is the only way to resolve differences between the two
countries, Foreign Office spokesperson Tehmina Janjua said
Pakistan "desires good neighbourly relations" with India.
The recent Foreign Secretary-level talks on the
sidelines of a SAARC meeting in Thimphu were a "significant
breakthrough" as both sides agreed to resume dialogue on all
issues, she said in a statement issued tonight.

"This holds hope for a meaningful and sustained
process of engagement to bridge the trust deficit, resolve all
outstanding issues, notably the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, and
for creating an enabling environment for promoting peace and
prosperity in the region as a whole," Janjua said.
Pakistan agrees with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s
"views that development of South Asia will only be possible
when Pakistan-India relations are normalised", she said.

Referring to the issue of terrorism, Janjua said
Pakistan believes that this is a global and regional
phenomenon that "warrants a comprehensive and cooperative
approach on the part of all states to eliminate this menace".

Pakistan has suffered "more from terrorism than any
other state", she said.

Pakistan is looking forward to the meeting of the
Interior and Home Secretaries of Pakistan and India on
counter-terrorism, narcotics control and humanitarian issues
in New Delhi later this month, she said.

During his speech in parliament, Prime Minister Singh
said he hoped Pakistan`s leadership "would grasp the hands of
our friendship and recognise that whatever are our
differences, terror as an instrument of state policy, is
something that no civilised society ought to use".
Though the two countries had made some progress in
recent years, there "was a lapse and the terrorist elements
would, of course, not allow the process of normalisation to
come into effect", Singh said.

PTI