KASHMIR BASIC ISSUE: GILANI
‘India, Pak Should Overcome War-Phobia’
REZAUL H LASKAR/PTI
Islamabad, Apr 1: Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that Kashmir is the basic contentious issue between Pakistan and India.
Addressing the Pakistan Senate Friday, Gilani said he met the Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his visit to Mohali and discussed bilateral issues with them.
Gilani said Pakistan and India should overcome “war phobia” to address their outstanding issues as a “third power” cannot come and do it for them.
“We need to give attention to the poor people of the two countries and that can happen when the war phobia ends,” Gilani said.
“We need to work together to resolve our real issues. We should look after the poor masses of both the countries and we both have agreed that, yes, this is the problem,” Gilani said, referring to his talks with Singh.
Addressing critics of his government who have claimed that the premier did not raise the Kashmir issue with Singh, Gilani said: “The outstanding and the core issue is Kashmir. So what other issue can you talk about? We discussed all issues and we agreed that we have to take ownership (of our problems). If we do not resolve our issues by ourselves, then a third power cannot come and do it.”
Taking ownership of outstanding issues will help Pakistan and India to address the problems of the people of both countries, including poverty, hunger, disease, unemployment, law and order and food security, he said.
Gilani said Singh had told him that India is ready to hold talks on every issue.
“Their gesture of sending an invitation (to watch the World cup semi-final was aimed at creating) goodwill in both countries,” he added. Gilani described the semi-final match, in which India defeated Pakistan by 29 runs, as a victory for cricket.
‘DIALOGUE ONLY WAY TO RESOLVE KASHMIR’
Meanwhile, in London, Victoria Schofield, a well-known British journalist and historian, on Friday said dialogue between India and Pakistan is the only alternative to resolve the Kashmir issue.
Schofield said the common people should be given dignity and power to put forward their views and a roundtable conference between officials of both India and Pakistan should be held.
“There is no alternative but dialogues on the Kashmir issue. We have seen what happened with weapons, we have seen what happened with wars. The Kashmiris of all complexions have to be allowed to sit down and be given the dignity to put forward their views with representatives from the government of India and from the government of Pakistan,” Schofield told reporters on the sidelines of a seminar on Gilgit-Baltistan in London.
“Because we really need - and I have said this on number of occasions - we need to have a roundtable where everybody can put forward their view and what we will see is a disparate view; we will not necessarily see a united voice. But once you have got these disparate views, you’ve then got to work out a compromise because not everybody can have what they want,” she added.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 1 Apr 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 1 Apr 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 2 Apr 2011 00:00:00 IST
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