Pakistan wants to leave the past and move forward: FM Hina
09 September, 2012
ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Saturday pointed out that Pakistan changed the position on Pak-India relations it held for 40 years in terms of normalisation of trade ties with India to send a very strong message that it is willing to forge ahead without being held hostage to the past position.
She was talking to reporters after a meeting with her Indian counterpart SM Krishna.
Khar said Pakistan was committed to realising the immense potential of the process of normalisation. She said Pakistan believed that the two countries should build on convergences as part of its broader vision of foreign policy engagements.
"We should move forward and should not allow ourselves to be held hostage by the history," she said. The foreign minister said that with determination and political will the two countries could address the issues of divergence, including Jammu and Kashmir, Siachen and Sir Creek. She emphasised that aspirations of Kashmiri people should be respected.
The FM said the two sides would abide by the Indus Basin Waters Treaty. Pakistan had invited India to look at the possibility of improving the implementation mechanism of the treaty, which has, by and large, served well. She also referred to the missed opportunities in the past like the agreement forged by democratic heroes of the two countries – Benazir Bhutto and Rajiv Gandhi – for resolution of Siachen dispute. She said Gayari tragedy in Siachen was glaring example of the lost opportunities. She said Pakistan was committed not to losing any opportunity and to creating new opportunities.
By December, she said Pakistan would start trade with India like any other country of the world. She said there was joint commitment to take care of Pakistani concerns on non-tariff barriers. Khar said she told her Indian counterpart that there was need to make the dialogue process effective and productive. She said that there should be simultaneous progress on all tracks as this is important to consolidate the gains so far made.
India ready to write a new chapter in relations: Krishna
Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna on Saturday said they are committed to moving forward in order to write a new chapter of peace and cooperation in their relationship.
He was addressing a joint press conference after his meeting with Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar. Krishna said they were reasonably satisfied at the progress achieved in the last round of resumed dialogue. He said they had agreed that terrorism posed threat to peace and security and reaffirmed strong commitment of the two countries to fighting terrorism in an effective manner.
He said Pakistan has reiterated its commitment to bring all perpetrators of Mumbai attack to justice. The Indian minister thanked President Asif Zardari for ordering release of all Indian fishermen and hoped that all the boats and other equipments of these fishermen would also be released.
Krishna said the two countries had decided to convene separate meetings of the expert groups on nuclear and conventional confidence building measures in New Delhi in the second half of December this year. He said they reviewed the existing cross-LoC confidence building measures on travel and trade. Krishna said the two sides also discussed measures for promoting cooperation in various fields including facilitating visits to religious shrines, media exchanges and cessation of hostile propaganda against each other.
He said the two countries are looking forward to launching of next round of secretaries-level dialogue on all eight segments. Schedule for these meetings would be worked out through diplomatic channels but these would be held before next meeting of the foreign ministers in New Delhi next year.
To a question, he said Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had not attached any precondition for his forthcoming visit to Pakistan. He explained that the prime minister wanted to visit Pakistan that there should be something worthwhile will come forward for his visit. He said he would submit the report of his present visit to the premier then he would decide to finalise the date for his visit to Pakistan.