Pak for resumption of stalled composite dialogue

Pak for resumption of stalled composite dialogue

Pak for resumption of stalled composite dialogue

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said India is signalling that it is ready to hold bilateral talks, a move which Pakistan will welcome if the parleys lead to the resumption of the composite dialogue.

He said there are signals emanating from India that it is willing to hold bilateral talks with Pakistan.

"We welcome this if it leads to the resumption of the composite dialogue," he was quoted as saying by TV news channel. "I think it is a very positive development, we would like to engage with India in a constructive manner."

He said Pakistan has always been advocating normalcy, normal relations and good neighbourly ties with India and prime ministers of both countries were of the view that dialogue is the only way forward.

Earlier, Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit welcomed the move to resume the composite dialogue, but insisted that the talks should be "result-oriented" and cover all outstanding issues, including Kashmir and sharing of river waters.

"Pakistan will welcome the resumption of the composite dialogue because we are for a meaningful engagement with India," Basit told mediapersons.

The Foreign Minister said he had directed its High Commission in New Delhi to "get in touch" with the Foreign Office to discuss the format.

"We have asked the High Commissioner in Delhi to get in touch with the Foreign Office to discuss the format, the agenda and all the details. Once they are in front of us, we would be in better position (to comment on the issue)," Qureshi said.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Basit said from our perspective, "talks should be all-encompassing and result-oriented". "We will, therefore, welcome the resumption of the composite dialogue," he underlined.

The spokesman's comments came in the wake of reports that India was considering some form of "measured contacts" with Pakistan.

Home Minister P Chidambaram is expected to travel to Pakistan for a SAARC meeting during February 26-27, the highest official Indian visit to the neighbouring country after the Mumbai attacks of November 2008.

Since the 26/11 strikes, leaders of the two sides have only met on the sidelines of several multilateral fora and India has linked the resumption of the peace process to Pakistan taking action against the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks.

"Pakistan has always believed that it is only through genuine and meaningful talks that Pakistan and India can resolve their bilateral disputes, including the long-simmering Jammu and Kashmir dispute and water issues," he said in response to another question.

Basit said "some proposals" for the revival of the peace process were being considered but refused to give details. He also did not say which country had mooted these proposals.

The spokesman's comments came in the wake of reports that India was considering some form of "measured contacts" with Pakistan.

The reports have not been favourably received by Pakistan's Foreign Office, which is for full resumption of the composite dialogue.

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