May 2006 News

Pakistan welcomes Manmohan Singh's Kashmir comment

26 May 2006
The Daily Times

Islamabad: Pakistan on Friday welcomed Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement on resolving all outstanding issues with Pakistan, including that of Jammu and Kashmir. Foreign office spokeswoman Tasneem Aslam said that Islamabad welcomed the comments made during Dr Singh’s speech in Srinagar, saying that he had raised several positive points on the need to improve human rights conditions in Indian-held Kashmir. She noted that Pakistan had repeatedly urged India to take advantage of improved bilateral relations as well as the receptive international climate to resolve the Kashmir issue. Aslam said that Pakistan had also emphasised that resolution of the issue would involve moving beyond confidence-building measures (CBMs) to concentrate instead on focused discussions that would include the Kashmiri leadership in the peace process. The Foreign Office spokeswoman announced that the government had recently received suggestions from the Indian side on this matter, saying that Islamabad “would respond to them so as to move the peace process forward and help progress towards the settlement of the dispute”. She said that the government supported increased movement of people across the Line of Control (LoC), especially for divided Kashmiri families, and wanted both sides to work together towards this end. Positive developments, she said, included the commencement of the Muzaffarabad-Srinagar bus and truck services as well as the Rawalakot-Poonch bus service. Aslam said that Pakistan remained committed to resolving all outstanding bilateral issues with India, including Siachen and Sir Creek. She noted that while Prime Minister Singh had hinted on possible progress on these issues last March, no such progress appeared to materialise in this week’s Siachen talks between the two sides.


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