Singh Assured Me Of Resolving All Issues: Khar28 July 2011
The News International
Lahore: Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has expressed satisfaction over the results of her talks with the Indian leadership which, she said, showed the first signs of new levels of engagement between the two countries for discussing and solving all contentious issues. “We held frank and cordial discussions on all issues including Kashmir and both sides expressed the resolve to work positively for resolving all of these,” she said while talking to the media at Lahore airport after returning from New Delhi Thursday evening. Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir was also present on the occasion. Ms Khar said the biggest achievement of her visit was that both sides agreed to make the dialogue process uninterrupted and uninterruptible so that it could not be derailed again. “I saw a positive reciprocity on part of Indian leadership to discuss and resolve the issues between the two countries,” she said, adding that Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured her that he was committed to working and resolving all issues including Kashmir and was ready to go an extra mile to achieve this objective. She said Manmohan Singh accepted the invitation by Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani to visit Pakistan, but its details would be finalised with consultation. She also referred to her meeting with Indian Foreign Minister SM Krishna and other leaders, terming it constructive and forward looking, in which they agreed to carry forward the dialogue process. Indian leadership said they wanted a stable Pakistan, he emphasised. To a question she said “both sides did not retreat from their stated political and legal positions, yet they reaffirmed to work together for resolving the pressing problems for the benefit of the two peoples.” She said New Delhi was angered by her meeting with Kashmiri leadership, but she made it clear that it was the stated position of Islamabad since Kashmiris were the stake-holders in the issue. Asked why Pakistan did not grill India over blocking of Pakistan’s water, she said, “The need of the hour was to promote mutual confidence which we successfully did. Normalisation of relations is in the interest of Pakistan. Both sides have divergent positions and the need of the hour is to bring it towards convergence and avoid further divergence of the respective stances.” Asked if her visit made any progress towards Pakistan’s stated position of solving Kashmir under the UN resolutions, Hina said, “We progressed towards building up mutual confidence and normalising bilateral relations.” Asked if Pakistani side raised the issue of Indian backing of terrorism and insurgency in Pakistan through Afghanistan particularly in deteriorating Balochistan situation, Hina said, “there were candid and open dialogue behind the closed doors on all issues but she was bound to keep the sanctity of its secrecy.” On Indian allegations over Pakistan’s backing of Mumbai attack accused, she said Indian people were emotional and angry over Mumbai attacks, and we made it clear to them that we wanted early completion of its trial, but it was India which caused delay in its conclusion. She referred to the joint communiquÈ issued after her meeting with her Indian counterpart in Delhi, and recalled all the salient features including trade and commerce pacts across LoC, continuation of dialogue, forging CBMs, visa regime, and water issue etc. The most important among those, she said, was the re-convention of Pak-India joint Water Commission which would help solve the key contentious issue on water. She underlined that Pakistan’s achievement was to bring India back to honour the Indus water treaty. Agencies add: The foreign minister visited the revered shrine in India Thursday where she prayed to further improve ties between the two countries. Hina Rabbani Khar spent 25 minutes at the mosque in the town of Ajmer. “I prayed for peace and harmony between India and Pakistan,” local media reported Khar as saying after leaving the shrine in Ajmer. “I came to try and strengthen relations between India and Pakistan and there is a need for more efforts to reinforce these ties,” Khar said. Hina Khar paid visits to the shrines of renowned Sufi saints Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti and Nizamuddin Aulia. He offered Fateha and laid wreath at the graves of the two great saints.