Zardari-Singh meet will help intra-regional peace: Pak

Last Updated: Thursday, April 5, 2012 - 19:23

Islamabad: Pakistan on Thursday said the upcoming
meeting between President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh will contribute to intra-regional peace though
there would be no compromise on the "core issue" of Kashmir or
maintaining a credible nuclear deterrence.

"We are of the view that the upcoming meeting between the
President and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over lunch will
contribute towards achieving the President`s vision to promote
intra-regional peace and prosperity in this part of the
world," Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit told a weekly
news briefing.

He said Pakistan is looking forward to a "constructive
engagement between the two leaders" when Zardari travels to
India on April 8 for a day-long private visit to the Sufi
shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti at Ajmer.

Before travelling to Ajmer, Zardari is scheduled to meet
Singh over lunch in Delhi.

Both sides have not provided any details about the agenda
for this meeting though Basit said the two leaders "would
discuss all the issues which continue to take priority in our
bilateral relations".

"These meetings at the summit level are always very
helpful but that does not mean that we have compromised on our
principled positions on other issues, especially the Jammu and
Kashmir dispute," Basit said in response to questions about
Zardari`s visit to India, the first by a Pakistani head of
state since 2005.

The Kashmir dispute is a "core issue" between the two
countries and Pakistan believes that its "just and fair
settlement is a sina qua non for establishing viable and
lasting peace in South Asia", he said.

"There is no question about changing our position on the
Jammu and Kashmir dispute," Basit added.

Asked about the recent induction of a Russian-made nuclear
submarine in the Indian Navy, the spokesman said Pakistan was
"cognisant of the requirements to maintain the credibility of
its deterrence".

"There is no question that we, for a moment, are oblivious
to developments taking place in our region.

"Pakistan, under all circumstances, will maintain the
credibility of its nuclear deterrence," he said.

Referring to the UN Special Rapporteur`s report on Jammu
and Kashmir, Basit said Pakistan agreed with the findings.

He said the international community was focussing on what
he described as the "grave and serious" human rights situation
in Jammu and Kashmir and called for the revocation of the
Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act and other such laws.

He claimed the people of Jammu and Kashmir were
campaigning for the "right to self-determination".

PTI



First Published: Thursday, April 5, 2012 - 19:23

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