Pakistan strongly interested in peace: Zardari
08 September, 2012
ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday said that Pakistan had abiding interest in promotion of regional peace and stability that would enable the people of the region to exploit enormous opportunities available in South Asia.
During his meeting with Indian Foreign Minsiter SM Krishna at the Presidency, he said that finding amicable and just solutions to resolve outstanding issues was important for Pakistan and India to ensure lasting peace and stability in the region.
Those who were present during the meeting included Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai, Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal, Adviser to External Affairs Minister Raghavendra Shastry, YK Sinha and Akbaruddin, from the Indian side.
Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Salman Faruqui, President's spokesman Senator Farhatullah Babar, Senator Sughra Imam, Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani, Pakistani High Commissioner to India Salman Bashir and Asif Durrani were present from the Pakistani side.
Briefing reporters about the meeting, Senator Babar said that the president had emphasised that it was time for the two countries to move beyond reiteration of their positions to more substantive results. The president said that showing greater understanding of each others' concerns and sensitivities would help in the solution of the mutual issues, he added.
Zardari reiterated his call for the two countries to make determined efforts for friendly, cooperative and good neighbourly relations, treading the path of productive and result-oriented dialogue. He stressed the need for exchange of visits of businessmen and entrepreneurs of the two countries to enhance bilateral trade.
He said that multifaceted cooperation between the two countries was imperative for the socio-economic development of the people and to cope with the common challenge of terrorism. He said that terrorism was a common enemy afflicting both the countries. Calling for the need to fight the menace jointly, the president said that Pakistan stood resolute to fight it until the finish.
The president also said that the two countries must not allow the derailment of normalisation process. In that regard, the president also suggested reviving the anti-terrorism mechanism comprising of representatives of the Foreign Office, home and interior and intelligence agencies of the two countries.
He said that the frequent interactions of the leadership of the two countries would help provide impetus to the efforts for ensuring peace and creating better understanding on various issues. He said that we have great respect for Sonia Gandhi and hold Dr Mamohan Singh in high esteem. The president appreciated the Indian prime minister's vision for peace in South Asia.
Krishna thanked the president for the meeting and conveyed best wishes of the Indian leadership and people for the government and the people of Pakistan. He said that his country desired good relations with Pakistan and wanted to work together in coping with the common challenges and issues.
Pakistan, India set to move forward: PM Ashraf
Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Friday said that relationship between Pakistan and India would improve as direction had been set for moving forward.
He said this while talking to Indian Foreign Minister SM Krishna, who called on him at the Prime Minister's House. Raja said that the visit of the Indian foreign minister was of great importance as the people of both the countries desired good relations. "We must learn from the past. We cannot change neighbours," he said.
He appreciated the efforts made by Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and Krishna to improve relations between the two countries. The prime minister said, "No doubt Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Kreek and other issues need to be resolved, but we need to have a positive approach to resolving these issues. Terrorism anywhere in the world is a threat to humanity. It is a common enemy of both the countries. Pakistan is a frontline state in the war against terrorism and has suffered enormously."
He said there was political consensus in Pakistan over having good relations with India. In this connection, he referred to the recent visit to India of a Pakistani parliamentary delegation comprising representatives from all political parties in the country.
Raja asked the Indian foreign minister to convey his best wishes to the prime minister and people of India. He also extended an invitation to the Indian prime minister to visit Pakistan. Krishna thanked the prime minister for the meeting and informed him that it was his second visit to Pakistan as foreign minister of India. He said he had developed a good relationship with the Pakistani foreign minister and that her visit to India was a defining moment for both sides.
He said the revival of the joint ministerial commission between the two countries after six years would send a strong message that "we mean business". Krishna said that India was committed to the stability, peace and prosperity of Pakistan. He said he agreed with the assessment of the prime minister that the present atmosphere between the two countries was good and added that the two sides need to create the right kind of atmosphere for creating "feel-good factor".
This, he said, was now slowly appearing on the horizon. The Indian foreign minsiter informed the prime minister that there was a lot of goodwill among the people of India for the people of Pakistan. He referred to the recent Commonwealth games where the Pakistani contingent was accorded the biggest reception after the Indian contingent.
He said both Pakistani and Indian prime ministers hailed from the same region and that it would help resolve issues that haunt the two countries. The prime minister said he wished both the foreign ministers the best during their negotiations.
The meeting was also attended by High Commissioner of India Sharat Sabharwal, Pakistani High Commissioner in India Salman Bashir and other senior officials of the Foreign Ministry.