Pak PM stresses dialogue with India

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - 13:47

Islamabad: Pakistan and India should move
forward together to resolve their outstanding issues through
dialogue as wars offer no solutions, Prime Minister Yousuf
Raza Gilani has said days ahead of Foreign Secretary-level
talks between the two countries.

It is vital for the two countries to "move forward
together towards resolving their core issues as wars are no
solution", Gilani told reporters yesterday after attending a
function at Garhi Khuda Baksh in Sindh province to mark slain
former premier Benazir Bhutto`s birth anniversary.

Gilani said Pakistan and India cannot afford war
because they are facing a number of important issues,
including poverty, unemployment and terrorism.

Dialogue, and not war, is the only solution to these
problems, he said.

He said his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh had
agreed to discuss core issues and find solutions through
negotiations.

"I received a letter from the Indian Prime Minister
(on Sunday) and he has expressed his willingness to initiate
dialogue in line with our earlier talks," he said.

The letter also detailed the programme of upcoming
meetings at different levels between the two countries and
expressed the hope that the meetings would lead to a wider
dialogue, Gilani said.

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao is scheduled to hold
talks with her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir in
Islamabad on June 24.

Two days later, Home Minister P Chidambaram will
attend a SAARC Interior Ministers meeting in Islamabad.

Chidambaram will also hold talks with his Pakistani
counterpart Rehman Malik on the sidelines of the SAARC meet.

The Foreign Secretaries have been tasked by Prime
Ministers Gilani and Singh to find ways to bridge the trust
deficit between the two countries and to prepare the ground
for a meeting of the Foreign Ministers in Islamabad on July
15.

Rao and Chidambaram are the first senior Indian
officials to visit Islamabad since the 2008 Mumbai attacks,
which were blamed on the Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Taiba terror
group.

India suspended the composite dialogue process in the
wake of the attacks that killed 166 people.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - 13:47

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