Talks without Kashmir won't bring peace: PM

28 June 2009
The Dawn

Lahore: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Sunday that talks with India would not contribute to a durable peace in the region unless the issue of Kashmir was addressed.'Kashmir is a core issue and its resolution is necessary for durable regional peace. Ignoring it in dialogue with India will not help to sustain the talks process,' the prime minister told journalists when he visited Mansoora to offer condolences on the death of Mian Tufail Mohammad, former amir of Jamaat-i-Islami. He said Kashmir was the basis of the country's foreign policy and it should be resolved on a priority basis for lasting peace in the region. The prime minister called for ending violation of human rights in the occupied valley. He said Pakistan wanted good relations with all neighbours, including India, Iran and Afghanistan. He said the process of normalising relations with India had been disrupted by the Mumbai attacks and terrorists had taken advantage of the break. Replying to a question, he said the country was independent and moving on a democratic path and each party was promoting its own ideology. He said every party had its own manifesto and agenda but all of them held the unanimous view that there should be no compromise on national sovereignty. He said that Pakistan People's Party and its partners in the coalition were against drone attacks and the government had repeatedly protested to the US because the attacks served to unite militants with local tribes. However, the US was not understanding the issue, he said.