Pak, India Capable Of Resolving Issues Bilaterally: FO

Pak, India Capable Of Resolving Issues Bilaterally: FO

13 October 2012
Daily Times
Imdad Hussain

Islamabad: Foreign Office spokesman Moazzam Khan on Thursday said India and Pakistan were capable enough to address issues between them, including Kashmir, bilaterally. Replying to queries during a media briefing at the Foreign Office, Khan, however, said if Russia, the US or China were willing to play a positive role to address the issues between Pakistan and India, they were welcomed. When asked about the unbending stance of India on the Kashmir issue, he said Pakistan had a clear position on the issue. President Zardari in his address to the UN General Assembly also raised the issue and referred to the failure of the United Nations to address the longstanding issue, he added. Admitting there were difficult issues between Pakistan and India, Khan said there was a desire on both sides to address all outstanding issues in a meaningful manner. About the visit of Russian foreign minister to Islamabad, he said it remained productive as talks covered cooperation in diverse fields, including economy and trade. Recently, relations between the two countries have witnessed a change, he said, adding that Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani also visited Moscow recently and held constructive talks with the military establishment. He said there was a desire on both the sides to take their relationship forward. To a question on new dates for the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Khan said Putin in a letter to President Zardari had expressed his keenness to have a summit-level meeting with his Pakistani counterpart soon. Both the countries are working on new dates, however, nothing has been finalised yet, he added. On the international communityís response over the terrorist attack on Malala Yousufzai, he said several countries, including the United States, have strongly condemned the reprehensible act. He said Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar had also condemned it as an attack on the future and hope of Pakistan. On the Syria-Turkey tension, the spokesman said Pakistan had condemned Syrian shelling into Turkey. He hoped Syrian government would take action to avert such incidents in the future, adding Pakistan wants peaceful resolution of the issue without any coercive measures. When asked whether the appointment of the new NATO commander in Afghanistan would help reduce cross-border attacks, Khan said Pakistan had time and again raised the issue with Afghan authorities and ISAF. He, however, was pessimistic the new appointment would make any major difference, saying it all depended on the policies of respective countries. He said President Zardari would pay a two-day visit to Baku, Azerbaijan on Monday to attend the Economic Cooperation Organisation summit. He said Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf would also visit Kuwait to attend the Asia Cooperation Dialogue. He added the dates of the visit of Afghan foreign minister and chief of the Afghan Council had not been finalised yet. The Foreign Ministry also lodged a protest with the US Embassy in Islamabad over drone strikes inside Pakistani territory on Wednesday and Thursday. The embassy was told such drone strikes were a clear violation of international law and Pakistanís sovereignty, the spokesman stated. He said these attacks were unacceptable to Pakistan.