What does India want us to do on terror, asks Qureshi
‘We can collectively deal with terrorism’
Istanbul, Jun 9: As it prepares to receive Home Minister P Chidambaram later this month, Pakistan 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 PTI 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 information 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.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 9 Jun 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 9 Jun 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 10 Jun 2010 00:00:00 IST
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