Mohali Would Lead To Kashmir Issue Resolution: Firdous31 March 2011
The News International
Islamabad: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said on Thursday the message from Mohali was that the peoples of Pakistan and India wanted peace and resolution of all outstanding issues through talks. Talking to media persons here at the Parliament House, the minister said the talks at Mohali were a good beginning, as both countries wanted to find ways through talks to resolve all the bilateral issues. “Cricket diplomacy has brought both Pakistan and India closer to resolving all outstanding issues, including the Kashmir problem, for peace in the region,” the minister maintained. Replying to a question, she said that there was a consensus between the two sides that they had the will and ability to settle their issues and they underlined to give a positive message to the world community. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, she noted, had formally invited his Indian counterpart Dr Manmohan Singh and Congress leader Sonia Gandhi to visit Pakistan, and she was hopeful they would definitely consider it. Prime Minister Gilani had paid a visit to India on the invitation of Dr Manmohan Singh and both had extremely fruitful talks in addition to watching the Pakistan-India semi-final together, the minister maintained. She said both Pakistan and India needed to focus on the common enemy i.e. terrorism, poverty and other issues. She noted that the interior secretary-level talks between Islamabad and New Delhi had been successful and she hoped the upcoming commerce secretary- and foreign secretary-level discussions would also be a success. About the much-talked about cricket diplomacy, she said that this would offer more ways of gestures than breakthroughs to resolve the decades old Kashmir issue. She said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh thanked his Pakistani counterpart for paying a visit to India on his invitation and she added both leaders were committed to achieving the common goals and to serve their people. Regarding the delegation members, she pointed out the leadership of all political parties accompanied the prime minister which was a clear message that Pakistan was interested in resolving all the pending issues with India through talks. The minister said Prime Minister Gilani would soon invite the Pakistan cricket team players to discuss improvement in their performance and to appreciate their output in the World Cup. APP adds: Dr Firdous said that the Pakistani team played well during the World Cup matches against the top class teams and reached the semi-final. “We should give honour and respect to our team on their return to Pakistan” she said. To another question, the information minister said that South Africa, Australia, England and other countries could not reach the semi-finals. She said, “Victory and loss do not matter. Cricket has brought the two nations closer to each other and everyone should give credit for it to the Pakistan team”.