Every time dialogue between Pakistan and India gains momentum, it is interrupted by some untoward incident, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said on Tuesday.
Islamabad wants an “uninterrupted and uninterruptable” peace process with New Delhi, but would never compromise its principled position on core issues, she added.
“Uninterrupted and uninterruptible dialogue means we want to hold meaningful and result-oriented talks, and for that, both sides need to ensure a conducive environment in which two countries can talk about core issues, including Kashmir, and move towards a resolution,” Khar said.
Briefing the National Assembly on her maiden India visit, Khar in her policy statement said, “We want to build trust with countries such as India and Afghanistan and begin a new era of cooperation.”
She informed the House that during her visit, the two sides held ministerial and secretaries-level talks on eight issues, including counter-terrorism, economic and commercial cooperation, Wullar Barrage, Siachen, Sir Creek, peace and security including CBMs, Jammu and Kashmir and the promotion of friendly exchanges.
“He [the Indian foreign minister] got a message from Pakistan that we are serious in engaging with India. It is our desire to engage with India in a meaningful way,” she said.
Pakistan raised water issues and emphasised on the need for respecting the Indus Water Treaty, and both countries had agreed to uphold the sanctity of the treaty, Khar added.
The foreign minister said that during her stay in New Delhi, she met with Kashmiri leaders including Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and assured them of Islamabad’s commitment for continued support towards the Kashmir cause.
Khar said that the Kashmir dispute should be resolved peacefully, and in accordance with the wishes of Kashmiris.
She said India had conveyed its concerns over terrorism and the trial on Mumbai attacks while both sides had agreed to hold separate meetings of experts on nuclear and conventional CBMs in Islamabad in September. The two countries also agreed to resume the work of the Pakistan-India Joint Commission.
Khar added that the two countries had also agreed to enhance existing facilities for travel and trade across the Line of Control (LoC).
Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2011.
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