Qureshi may visit India if breakthrough in talks in Bhutan
Last Updated: Friday, January 21, 2011, 00:47
Islamabad: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday said he may visit India in the first quarter of 2011 if there was a breakthrough in talks between the Foreign Secretaries of the two countries in Bhutan next month.

Qureshi said the Foreign Secretaries would meet to discuss the agenda for talks and he was likely to visit New Delhi in the first quarter of the year if there was breakthrough in talks between the top diplomats.

He said Pakistan is willing to hold talks with India on all outstanding issues, including the "core issue" of Kashmir.

"I will go there after seeking suggestions from the Kashmiri people and their leadership and I will stand firm on our principles," he said.

Qureshi's comments came ahead of a meeting of the Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan to be held on the sidelines of a SAARC meet in Bhutan next month.

"Pakistan is willing to address the issue in line with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people and UN resolutions," Qureshi said.

The "core issue" should be resolved for lasting peace and stability in the region, he said.

He made the remarks during a meeting with legislators of the Muslim Conference party.

He briefed the meeting about Pakistan's stance on the Kashmir issue.

The "prime minister" of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Sardar Attique, attended the meeting.

Qureshi said there were "no two opinions" on supporting the Kashmiris' right to self-determination. "We may have differences over domestic issues and way of thinking, but we all are one on the Kashmir issue," he said.

Pakistan has raised the issue of the Kashmiri people at all international forums and at the recent Kashmir exhibition at the European Union parliament in Brussels, he remarked.

"Pakistan has reiterated its historical and principled stance on the Kashmir issue at UN General Assembly session," he said.

Kashmir has been part of the dialogue whenever the Pakistani leadership meets its Indian counterpart and Islamabad recognises that the Kashmiri people on both sides of the Line of Control are the "third party to the issue", Qureshi said.


First Published: Friday, January 21, 2011, 00:47

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