Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Tuesday asked India not to hold the dialogue process hostage to the November 2008 Mumbai incidents.
“There is no communication gap with India on resolving the core issue of Kashmir and other outstanding issues. This impression should be dispelled that there is a lack of communication.
However, there is a lack of trust,” Gilani told Omani newsmen, while on a visit to Muscat.
He said that Pakistan desires the resumption of dialogue with India to resolve all outstanding issues and spoke of talks with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh during which he told him that one incident should not be allowed to hold the dialogue down.
“The Kashmir issue resolution is vital for regional stability. Pakistan wished to discuss all core issues including Kashmir, and India too had agreed on it.”
Regarding the presence of terrorist groups along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, he said that both countries realise they are ‘victims of a common enemy’. “Nato forces and Isaf are working in consultation with Pakistan and Afghanistan to jointly combat terrorism.”
The prime minister added that his visit to Oman would help expand economic and trade cooperation.
“I discussed the whole gamut of cooperation in a meeting with Sultan Qaboos of Oman and the Deputy Premier. It was agreed that both countries will have cooperation in textiles, fishing, education and development in Gwadar.”
Gilani also disclosed that Pakistan and Oman have agreed to start a ferry service between the two countries
“We also agreed to work out a feasibility to run ferry service between Gwadar and Muscat,” he said.
The planned service is still in its initial phase and will run between Gwadar and Muscat.
Special Adviser to Sultan Qaboos said his country explored the feasibility of operating such a service. He said this service would benefit both the countries and generate economic activity.
Oman also sought assistance from Pakistan Railways for laying a railways network in Oman.
Pakistan will provide assistance in planning, designing, consultancy services, construction and operation of railways.
Pakistan offered to increase the number of scholarships for Omani students.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 29th, 2010.
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