What does India want us to do on terror front, asks Qureshi

As it prepares to receive Home Minister P Chidambaram later this month, Pakistan on Wednesday said it wanted to know from him as to what India wants to be done on terrorism front so that relations could normalise.

Updated: Jun 09, 2010, 18:37 PM IST

Istanbul: As it prepares to receive Home
Minister P Chidambaram later this month, Pakistan on Wednesday said
it wanted to know from him as to what India wants to be done
on terrorism front so that relations could normalise.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said if
the two countries are able to end trust deficit and improve
relations, it would have a spin-off effect on a number of
activities, including trade and tourism.
"In my view, both countries have suffered on account of
terrorism. In my view, both countries should engage to deal
with this issue of terrorism. We can do it collectively in a
more effective manner," he told agency in an interview here.

"I am happy to learn that the Indian Home Minister will
be visiting Pakistan on June 26 and I am sure he will discuss
these issues with his counterpart (Rahman Malik)," said
Qureshi who was here to attend the Summit of Conference on
Interaction and Confidence Building in Asia (CICA).

Chidambaram will be travelling to Islamabad for SAARC
Interior Ministers` meeting and during his stay there he is
expected to have bilateral meetings with some Pakistani
leaders.

Qureshi said if he gets an "opportunity" of talking to
Chidambaram, "I would like to understand what India would
want from Pakistan and I want to explain to him what steps
Pakistan has done to take on terrorists. How we have
effectively carried out operations against various terrorist
organisations."

He said the two countries should engage in exchanging
informations to build confidence.
"I think exchanging of information will also build
confidence, understanding each others point of view, will also
clear the air on issues," he added.

Qureshi said if the two countries "start pointing fingers
at each other, who gains, neither India nor Pakistan. The net
beneficiary of our disengagement, in fact, are the terrorists.
So we should not fall in their trap."

He said the two countries should discuss how they could
help each other to overcome the menace of terrorism.

Referring to the Mumbai attacks of November 2008, the
Pakistan Foreign Minister said the atmosphere was "vitiated"
in the aftermath of that incident and "India took a very
strong decision of suspending dialogue, which in my opinion
was perhaps not the right thing to do."

Qureshi stressed on the need to enhance trade relations
between the countries and within the SAARC region.

"I think there is a great potential of trade between
India and Pakistan. There is a great potential of trade within
the SAARC region," he said.

He said trade within the SAARC region has been limited
because the two big countries of the eight-nation grouping --
India and Pakistan -- have not been able to sort out there
issues over the years.

"If we can bridge the trust deficit, the whole
environment will change. Look at the potential of promoting
tourism between India and Pakistan if relations are normal,
friendly. Pakistan wants good neighbourly relations with
India," he said.

He said there are many Pakistanis who very keen to
travel to India.

"If our relations improve, we can liberalise visas, look
at the activities we generate, look at the spin off, the
commercial activities it will generate. I think it will build
confidence, it will improve people to people contacts and
relations," he said.

PTI