India Should Discuss All Issues, Not Just Terror: Qureshi
Pakistan has said that it wants to discuss all bilateral issues, including Kashmir, at the foreign secretary level talks on February 25 and feels that much progress will not be made if the dialogue is restricted to a ‘narrow agenda’ of terrorism, reported PTI.
During an official visit to Beijing, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that he hoped Composite Dialogue process between the two neighbours would be resumed soon, said report.
“It (Indo-Pak Foreign Secretaries meeting) is going to be an exploratory meeting. The Pakistan government is seriously working to improve relations with India. We seek peaceful settlement of all outstanding disputes, including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir with India,” Qureshi was quoted as saying.
He made the statement while speaking to media following delivering a lecture on ‘Pakistna’s Challenges and our Response’ at the China Institute of International Studies in Beijing.
“After 14 months, they (India) have reengaged with us and invited us for a dialogue. We want a dialogue but we want a meaningful dialogue.
“We want all issues that are of concern of both sides brought on to the table to that dialogue is serious meaningful and result oriented. We have to see what comes out of the 25th meeting,” he was quoted as saying.
“If India restricts the agenda or tries to narrow it down to its own immediate needs, then much progress will not be reached,” the minister was quoted as saying in an obvious reference to comments made by some Indian officials that terrorism would dominate the talks.
He also said that India had agreed through a joint communiqué that acts of terrorism would not obstruct the process of dialogue before suspending talks after the ‘unfortunate incidents’ of terror in Mumbai, said report.
“We hope that the composite dialogue process would be resumed in the near future. Pakistan has recognised the significance and the progress made through the four rounds of composite dialogue.”
In response to a query of an Indian journalist that Pakistan has not done enough to contain India specific terror groups, the Pakistani minister said that Islamabad took up prominent steps in the direction, said report.
“For the sake of discussion, let us agree that we have not done enough, does that qualify for suspending dialogue and does that invite greater understanding and cooperation.
“Should we shut our minds and look at other directions realising that there is common challenge we are facing?” he was quoted as asking.
The two countries should display more cooperation by holding talks to understand each others concerns ‘instead of the policy followed by India in suspending talks’, report said.
“I think that there was a realisation in India that (suspension of talks) was a negative and knee-jerk reaction and I am glad you are rethinking on that. So as far being effected by terrorism is concerned, does India realise the challenge Pakistan is facing?” the Foreign Minister asked.