Talks only way forward: Gilani
‘India Must Change Cold War Mindset’
REZAUL H LASKAR
Islamabad, Mar 3: Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani has said dialogue is the only way forward for resolving all issues between India and Pakistan despite a perceived lack of progress during the recent Foreign Secretary-level talks. Pakistan however said that “engaging in talks for the sake of talks would serve no purpose” and asked New Delhi to change its “Cold War mindset”.
“We raise our hopes and then disappoint ourselves,” Gilani said, referring to the February 25 talks between Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir in New Delhi. However, he said, talks are the “only way forward.”
Gilani expressed his views in response to a question about the parleys during an interview with Geo News channel.
Referring to his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Sharm el-Sheikh in July last year and an expected meeting on the sidelines of the upcoming SAARC summit in Bhutan, he said “whenever we meet, it would be meaningful.”
Responding to a query about Singh’s visit to Saudi Arabia, Gilani described it as a good development.
He said it would not have any impact on Pak-Saudi ties as the two countries are members of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and enjoy close and friendly relations.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said during a meeting with his Norwegian counterpart Jonas Gahr Store here that Pakistan wanted its ties with India to normalise “by resolving bilateral disputes through a sustained and meaningful dialogue process.”
However, “engaging in talks for the sake of talks would serve no purpose,” he was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Foreign Office.
Qureshi said “India had to change its approach vis-a-vis Pakistan, which somehow continued to be anchored in the Cold War mindset.”
Referring to the recent Foreign Secretary-level Indo-Pak talks, he said Pakistan had gone for the parleys “with an open mind.”
Asked about military exercises recently conducted by India at Pokhran, Pakistan Prime Minister said Pakistan’s defence is in secure hands and the country is aware of its defence capabilities.
“We are not worried about such things,” he said.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 3 Mar 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 3 Mar 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 4 Mar 2010 00:00:00 IST
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