Pakistan in touch with India for meeting of PMs in New York

Last Updated: Thursday, September 5, 2013 - 22:29

Islamabad: Pakistan today said it is in touch with India to set a date for a possible meeting between the Prime Ministers of the two countries, stressing that any suspension of dialogue only strengthens those who do not wish to see peace.

The development came against the backdrop of diplomatic sources in New Delhi saying that External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid would meet his Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz in Kyrgyzstan on September 13, when they will try to schedule a meeting between their Prime Ministers in New York later this month.

"The two governments are in touch with each other on this matter...The meeting could be a useful opportunity to engage in a constructive dialogue to discuss ways of building mutual trust and improving bilateral relations," Pakistan?s Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Chaudhry said.

He told a weekly news briefing that the bilateral dialogue process has not yet resumed, and when it does, all matters of concern to both countries will be discussed.

Talking about the possible agenda of a meeting between the premiers, he said they could discuss issues of mutual interest, ways of building mutual confidence and improving bilateral ties.

Asked about "non-state actors" that were against better relations, Chaudhry said Pakistan`s position has always been that it does not allow its territory to be "used by anyone for committing acts of terrorism".

He said, "But at the same time we also feel that when the dialogue is disrupted or interrupted for one reason or the other, we are actually strengthening the cause of those who do not wish to see peace.
"And that`s why we have always been urging that dialogue must continue. Howsoever difficult the issues may be, they should be settled on the table."

Asked about Indian envoy T C A Raghavan?s suggestion for a common policy on combating terrorism, he said Pakistan is devising a comprehensive counter-terror policy.

"Pakistan is a victim of terrorism and it makes perfect sense for us to devote our full energies to countering terrorism. As for the remarks of the Indian High Commissioner...Our position is that Pakistan has always been ready to discuss all issues of bilateral concern, including the issue of terrorism, as part of the dialogue process," he said.
Asked about talks between former Pakistan Foreign Secretary Shahryar Khan and ex-diplomat S K Lambah, the point men for Pakistan-India back-channel diplomacy, he said these talks are an "important contribution" to the peace process. "However, we do not report on Track-II meetings," he said.
On the issue of ceasefire violations on the Line of Control, Chaudhry said the 2003 truce must be respected. "We expressed our concern on these violations on more than one occasion. We believe that a peaceful environment between the two countries could benefit the people of both countries," he added.


First Published: Thursday, September 5, 2013 - 22:29

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