Want to settle all issues with India: Pak PM
Islamabad: Pakistan wants a "negotiated settlement of all issues with neighbour India", Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said.
"We believe in friendly relations with all the neighbouring countries in the region. We want negotiated settlement of all issues with our neighbour India," Gilani said in Lahore Tuesday.
"Once peace is established in the region, South Asia will be able to get rid of poverty, diseases, injustice and ignorance."
Pakistan's commerce ministry, he said, has initiated the process of dialogue for balance of trade and to grant Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India, and the negotiation between the commerce secretaries of both countries was underway in New Delhi.
"Recently, I have had a very successful meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Maldives. We agreed that negotiation is the way out to resolve all outstanding issues," reports quoted Gilani as saying.
Gilani spoke on India while addressing an international seminar on "Sikh-Muslim Sanjh Tareekh Ke Aaine Wich" organised by Diyal Singh Research and Cultural Forum (DSRCF).
Gilani said that all Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) governments had taken practical steps for the welfare, prosperity, betterment and raising social status of minority communities in Pakistan.
Evacuee Trust Property Board chairperson Syed Asif Hashmi, Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee Pakistan president Sham Singh, SGPC India member Rampal Singh, Gurmeet Singh from US, Manmohan Singh Khalsa from Britain and Ehsan H. Nadeem, a professor, also spoke on the occasion.
Gilani said the PPP-led democratic government believes in interfaith harmony.
Gilani also congratulated the Sikh community on the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak and welcomed them to Pakistan.
He said, "The people of Pakistan especially of the Punjab extend warm welcome to you on your arrival here, and they pray for your safe return after your visit to holy places and the performance of your religious rituals in peaceful environment. I am sure you must have got spiritual satisfaction in the real sense during your stay here."
Gilani met Manmohan Singh Nov 10 on the sidelines of the 17th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit. India and Pakistan talked about writing "a new chapter" in their ties, with Islamabad assuring New Delhi that the terrorists behind the Mumbai carnage would be brought to justice soon. The two sides agreed to push a host of initiatives, including the revival of the joint commission, a preferential trade agreement and liberal visa regime.