Looking Forward To Resolve All Issues: Pak

Looking Forward To Resolve All Issues: Pak

12 April 2012
Greater Kashmir
Rezaul H. Laskar

Islamabad: Building upon the recent talks between President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Pakistan Thursday said it was looking forward to resolving all issues, including Kashmir, through dialogue. “Both President Zardari and Prime Minister Singh, following their meeting (on April 8), reiterated their mutual desire to have a pragmatic and practical dialogue process and move forward towards resolving all the core issues which continue to bedevil our relations,” Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said during a weekly news briefing. He said this reiteration of the commitment by the two leaders would “help push the peace and dialogue process forward because at the end of the day, the effectiveness, importance or credibility of any dialogue process hinges on its results”. Pakistan is looking forward to achieving results through the dialogue, he said adding Islamabad is hopeful that as the dialogue process moves forward, the two countries will be able to move beyond confidence-building measures as it is important for them to “settle issues and move forward”. Zardari had made a day-long private visit to India, where he met Prime Minister Singh over lunch and offered prayers at a Sufi shrine in Ajmer. The two leaders reviewed the ongoing peace process during their meeting. Zardari was the first Pakistani head of state to visit India since 2005. Basit noted that Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar had expressed the hope that the India-Pakistan dialogue would be “uninterrupted and result-oriented”. Responding to a question on whether an avalanche on Siachen that buried 138 people, most of them Pakistani soldiers, would spur efforts to end the military standoff on the glacier, Basit said the Siachen issue was already part of the dialogue with India but the two sides were not discussing anything “specific” at the moment. “As far as Pakistan is concerned, we have always maintained that all issues between Pakistan and India should be resolved, especially the core dispute of Jammu and Kashmir. That continues to be our policy,” he said. Asked about media reports on a significant increase in Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, Basit said the country’s “deterrence is integral to our security calculus”. “What we are doing and will continue doing is to maintain the credibility of our deterrence at the minimum possible level under all circumstances. “This will include whatever may come, but it is very difficult for me to get into specifics on this issue,” he said.