India, Pak Should Solve Less Divisive Issues Before Taking Kashmir: Hina

India, Pak Should Solve Less Divisive Issues Before Taking Kashmir: Hina

1 December 2012
Rising Kashmir
Rezaul H Laskar

Islamabad: Stating that if India provides evidence, her country can act against Hafiz Saeed, Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar Saturday said India and Pakistan should solve less divisive issues before taking up Kashmir. “A beginning could be made if India and Pakistan began to trust each other a little because total trust will take lot of time. The two sides would have to start by working on ‘less divisive issues’ before taking up issues like the Kashmir problem,” Hina told a TV news channel. She said the two countries could not solve the Kashmir issue militarily in 60 years. “Hostility and animosity and hatred couldn't solve it. Can't we give peace a real chance and can't we try and create the circumstances, opportunities, atmospherics and environment to try and settle all these issues at the dialogue table?' she asked. About possibility of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visiting Pakistan, Hina said Islamabad should not be defensive about making a goodwill gesture such as inviting Singh for a visit. “The Indian side had repeatedly said that Singh was ‘keen to come’ and that it was his ‘personal desire’ to visit Pakistan,” she said. Asked if the visit would take place before the Pakistan People's Party-led government completes its tenure in March, she replied, 'Let's hope so.' Regarding Hafiz Saeed, Hina said, “He was in custody and the evidence against him could not hold in a court of law. We have said even now that we will be happy to look at any evidence against him that holds in a court of law”. Asked if Pakistan will act if India provides evidence against Hafiz, she said, 'Yes, there will definitely be action. He was already in custody. The evidence against him was not enough and he was released from custody for this reason.' Saeed, who heads the Jamaat-ud-Dawah, was placed under house arrest for less than six months after the UN Security Council declared the JuD a front for the LeT in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks in November 2008. He was freed on the orders of the Lahore High Court. Hina said the environment with India became very bad after the Mumbai attacks. 'We passed through a difficult phase,' she acknowledged. “The Pakistan government had improved that environment in a massive way. We tried to build trust. We made a policy decision, which no one had made in 40 years, to begin moving on the track of trade normalization,” she further said. She noted that the move to normalise trade had been a very good confidence-building measure. “India and Pakistan had helped each other in securing non-permanent seats in the UN Security Council while Delhi had given a waiver at the WTO to trade concessions granted to Pakistan by the European Union,” added Hina. Noting that regional groupings were driving economic development around the world, she said, 'In this region, should be we only backing fighting, quarrels, divisions and terrorism?'