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Yusuf Raza Gilani: Pakistan wants good relations with India

Sunday, June 20, 2010 12:55:20 PM, Agencies

Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani

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Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that his government wants good neighbourly relations with India and the peaceful resolution of all outstanding issues between the two countries, including the Kashmir issue.

Gilani made the remarks during a meeting with visiting US Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke on Saturday.

Referring to the upcoming visits to Pakistan by Indian Foreign Secretary, Home Minister and External Affairs Minister, Gilani reaffirmed Islamabad's "keen desire to have good neighbourly relations with India through peaceful resolution of all outstanding issues between the two countries, including the core issue of Kashmir (and) the water dispute".

According to an official statement, Gilani said Pakistan had "all along strived for restoration of the composite dialogue with India in the larger interest of peace in this region and the world at large".

Holbrooke welcomed the restoration of dialogue between Pakistan and India and said the US would watch the forthcoming meetings between the two countries "with a sense of anticipation".

He agreed with Gilani that Pakistan and the US should coordinate their positions and help the Afghanistan government in its peace process.

Gilani also said public support for the war on terror is vitally important and it can only be kept intact if the world community, particularly donor countries, start delivering on their pledges to help Pakistan provide relief to the people and to undertake infrastructure and social sector projects in militancy-hit areas.

While time was fast running out for the government's rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in areas cleared of militants, the aid committed at the Tokyo Donors Conference held over a year ago is yet to be delivered by donor countries, he said.

This delay had accentuated the economic and energy crisis in Pakistan and extremist elements were taking advantage of that situation, Gilani said.

Holbrooke also met President Asif Ali Zardari and the two leaders discussed bilateral ties, the security situation in the region, the shared terrorist threat, the US-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue, reimbursements by US from the Coalition Support Fund and strengthening of Pakistan's law enforcing agencies.

Zardari said militancy and terrorism is the common enemy and the existing cooperation between the two countries must continue to fight the menace.

Pakistan valued a long-term, multifaceted and durable relationship with the US and no isolated incident should be able to adversely impact on this relationship, he added.

He also emphasised on early reimbursement of arrears from the CSF of over USD 1.5 billion which was rising every month.




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