Pak to adopt `positive mindset` for July 15 talks with India

Pakistan on Thursday said it will adopt a positive mindset for the upcoming Foreign Minister-level talks with India with the hope that the meeting will lead to a sustained and uninterrupted engagement between the two countries.

Islamabad: Pakistan on Thursday said it will
adopt a positive mindset for the upcoming Foreign
Minister-level talks with India with the hope that the meeting
will lead to a sustained and uninterrupted engagement between
the two countries.

"As far as Pakistan is concerned, we are approaching
this meeting with a positive mindset. Our expectation will be
that, as a result of this meeting, our two countries will
engage in a sustained manner and in a process that is
uninterrupted," Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit told a
weekly news briefing.
Basit was responding to a question on Islamabad`s
expectations from the talks to be held between Pakistan
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Indian
counterpart S M Krishna here on July 15.

"We are looking forward to this meeting and obviously,
as was decided by the two Prime Ministers, all issues will be
discussed at this meeting," the spokesman said.

The Foreign Office spokesman noted that the upcoming
parleys were a follow-up to a meeting between the Prime
Ministers of the two countries in Bhutan in April and Foreign
Secretary-level talks in Islamabad on June 24.

Asked if India’s insistence on action against
Pakistan-based elements linked to the 2008 Mumbai terrorist
attacks would overshadow the upcoming meeting, Basit replied
that there was now a "realisation on both sides that Pakistan
and India need to move forward" and that "neither country had
gained by not talking to each other".

"This realisation, we believe, is important and would
help our two countries to proceed and try to accommodate each
other’s concerns," he said.

Pakistan is hopeful that the meeting on July 15 will
help take the re-engagement process forward and allow the two
sides to address issues of mutual concern.

Basit refused to discuss specific issues like India`s
demand for action against six more suspects linked to the
Mumbai attacks, saying the probe into and cooperation on the
terrorist incident was an "ongoing process".

In response to another question, Basit dismissed
India`s objections to a Pakistan-China rail link, saying New
Delhi has "no locus standi" in the matter and that its
objections are "uncalled for and irrelevant".
Basit said both sides had exchanged information in the
past on the Mumbai trial and "Pakistan is moving forward with
a full sense of responsibility and sincerity".

"Whosoever committed the Mumbai attack will be brought
to justice. The seven suspects facing trial in Pakistan cannot
be termed as guilty unless the court so decides," the
Pakistani Foreign Office spokesman said.

"We believe that all those who were involved in this
should be brought to justice and that continues to be our
position," the top foreign ministry official said.

Pakistan is also "sparing no effort to conclude the
Mumbai trial as soon as possible" but there were "issues and
problems" which it is trying to overcome, Basit said without
giving details.

In response to another question, Basit expressed
concern over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of
public protests and noted that Amnesty International had asked
the Indian government to avoid the use of force and
investigate the killings of civilians.

"We are indeed concerned at the worsening human rights
situation in Jammu and Kashmir, which has taken the lives of
several young people, including a nine-year-old boy," he said.

He reiterate Pakistan`s "solidarity with the people of
Jammu and Kashmir" and extended "full diplomatic and moral
support" to "the struggle for self-determination".

Basit said the release of fishermen being held in
jails in India and Pakistan is a "top most priority".

Pakistan will discuss the issue with the Indian
External Affairs Ministers and is hopeful that the two sides
can agree on a "mechanism whereby fishermen are freed as soon
as possible".

PTI