Talks will lead to Kashmir solution: FO
9 February 2004
The Daily Times
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan expressed hope on Monday that next week's peace talks with India would lead to a solution to all the disputes between the two countries, including Kashmir. 'We are hopeful and optimistic for the success of these talks,' Foreign Office spokesman Masood Khan said. He pointed out that since talks were being resumed after a long time, the two sides would look at the agenda, structure of talks and future course of action. 'This should be a good beginning and both countries are able to identify the agenda, scope and prepare for more comprehensive talks,' Mr Khan said. He said Pakistan and India must focus on the Kashmir issue, which has strained their relations. He said at this point, Kashmiris were not being included in the talks but the essence of the dialogue was about their aspirations.He said Pakistan and Britain had agreed to put an end to the issue of alleged bugging of Pakistan's High Commission in London by the British intelligence agencies. 'Pakistan and Britain have agreed to leave this issue behind and continue to strengthen their friendship and enhance cooperation in all fields,' Mr Khan said. He said the British government had sent a message to Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri through the foreign policy advisor to the British prime minister last month. The spokesman quoted the communication and said the British government recognised the difficulties caused by such allegations and concerns. The communication said the British government would not wish to do anything to harm development of bilateral relations between the two countries.