Pakistan, India cannot afford war: Gilani

Pak’s PM Yousuf Raza Gilani said dialogue is the only way to resolve issues between Pakistan and India as both countries cannot afford to fight wars.

Last Updated: Jan 02, 2011, 12:53 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan’s PM Yousuf Raza Gilani
on Sunday said dialogue is the only way to resolve outstanding
issues between Pakistan and India as both countries cannot
afford to fight wars.

Gilani made the remarks during the debut episode of the
live show "Prime Minister Online" in which he answered
questions from the public and tried to address their
grievances.

"There is a lot of pressure from the public and
opposition on (Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh) but I
believe that dialogue is the only answer. That’s the only way
forward because we can’t afford wars. We must have a
dialogue and that will happen," he said.

Gilani was responding to a question on India-Pakistan
ties in the aftermath of the 2008 Mumbai incident.

He noted that he had held several meetings with Singh,
including one in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh during
which they "made a commitment that both countries cannot be
held hostage to the Mumbai incident alone".

"However, when Manmohan Singh went back to India, there
was pressure on him in parliament as well as public pressure
and so no progress could be made," he said.

Gilani became the first Pakistani Prime Minister to
appear on a live television and field questions from the
public. The new show will be aired on the first of every
month.

During the 50-minute show, Gilani also expressed his
government`s resolve to launch a jihad against corruption in
the New Year by taking legislative measures, including the
enactment of an accountability law.

"It is our resolve for the new year that we will launch a
jihad against corruption. I have talked to (main opposition
PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif) so that we can adopt the
accountability bill with consensus. And it
will be done in a way that nobody can raise a finger at it,"
he said.

Gilani also answered questions on a crippling gas and
power shortage, price rise and improvement of educational
standards.

PTI