India, Pak cannot afford war, should resume dialogue: Gilani

Last Updated : 28 January 2010, 11:50 IST
Last Updated : 28 January 2010, 11:50 IST

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Noting that things were "stuck" after the Mumbai terror attacks, he said "1.25 billion people should not be made hostage to one incident. If we are hostage to one incident then the beneficiaries are terrorists and therefore we should move ahead....
"I think dialogue is the only answer. We are both responsible nations and we can move forward. We can't afford war. I think only way forward is talks."
Describing his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Sharm el-Sheikh as "very good", Gilani told CNN-IBN in an interview that both of them "had understanding that we both are suffering from terrorism."

"Things are stuck with the Mumbai incident, the matter is already sub-judice with the courts. We certainly condemn terrorism and believe that neither India nor Pakistan soil should be used against each other....There are 101 Mumbai-like incidents in Pakistan after that (26/11)," he said.
Gilani also denied his country's involvement in the recent spate of attacks in Jammu and Kashmir.

"There had been some irresponsible statements from the Army Chief of India. There is a tension because of that and at the same time that is an indigenous movement in Kashmir that is not anything to do with Pakistan."

On his recent remarks that Pakistan cannot prevent recurrence of 26/11, Gilani said it was in reaction to some of the comments made by Indian leadership that "if there is any incident in future... we will not bracket the non-state actors but the Government of Pakistan."

"I was of the opinion that....if there is any credible or if there is any information, we are ready to share with India ...and if India has any information they can share with us. We are ready to share any intelligence sharing or any sort of information, credible information. We are ready to support you," he said.

About the investigations in Mumbai terror attacks, the Pakistan Prime Minister said India has given six dossiers but at the same time "we had asked for further information so that we should strengthen the case."

Gilani also said that his country needs further information about Hafiz Sayeed, the mastermind behind the terror attacks in Mumbai, to "put him to task." Pakistan has recently brought charges against seven accused for the Mumbai attack but not against Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafez Saeed, whom India accuses of being the main conspirator.
“He is already under trial. In fact it has to be decided by the court,” Gilani said, denying that Pakistan was dragging its feet.
“In fact, we had asked for further info, so that we should strengthen the case. We have already registered the case. The matter is sub-judice in the Lahore High Court.”

Gilani also reacted to the statement by US Defence secretary Robert Gates that India may not be as patient with Pakistan, if another Mumbai-like incident were to happen.
“I was of the opinion when I talked to Gates, if there is any credible information, we are ready to share with india. That should be pre-empted before time, not after that. If India has any information, they can share with us. We are ready to share any intelligence or any sort of info. We are ready to support you,” he said.
Gilani also reacted to recent comments by Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram that India does not accept the argument of non-state actors being solely responsible for the attacks.
“If you have any information, instead of saying that we will bracket the (Pakistan) government with it (non-state actors), it is better that you share it with us so that we jointly resolve the issue,” he said.
Gilani urged India to restart the dialogue process.
He referred to the joint statement issued together after the meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Sharm-el-Sheikh in Egypt on the sidelines of non-aligned leaders' summit in 2009.
“That was a very good meeting. We discussed all issues. And we had (an) understanding that we both are suffering from terrorism,” Gilani said.
The Pakistani leader said that “1.25 billion should not be made hostage to one incident”.
“So (if) we are hostage to this incident, then the beneficiary is the terrorist. Therefore, we should move forward”.
“Certainly, we condemn terrorism and we always believe that neither Pakistani or Indian soil to be used against each other. We are the victims of terrorism. You know how we are fighting the war on terrorism,” asserted Gilani.

Published 28 January 2010, 11:39 IST

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