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Better Pakistan-India ties vital for region, says China

world Updated: Apr 09, 2012 11:23 IST
IANS
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Improved ties between Islamabad and New Delhi are indispensable for regional stability, which is "vital for prosperity and China's modernisation drive", Beijing has said while welcoming Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari's visit to India.

Zardari met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday during a personal visit to India, the latest sign of improvement in the relations between the two archrivals, said a commentary in Xinhua news agency.

Zardari then paid obeisance at Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti's shrine in Ajmer.

The commentary by Yu Zhixiao said that "better ties between Pakistan and India, two nuclear-armed heavyweight neighbours on the South Asian subcontinent, will benefit both countries and regional stability".

Welcoming the two countries' efforts in warming up their ties, it said the move has been "applauded by the international community, including China, which neighbours both nations and maintains significant ties with them".

China and Pakistan have been "all-weather friends" over the past decades.

"China wants to further boost ties with both countries, and is happy to witness continuous improvement of the Pakistan-India ties," it said.

The Xinhua commentary said that "peaceful coexistence between the two countries...is indispensable for regional stability, which is vital for regional prosperity and China's modernization drive".

Stating that the Pakistan-India relationship has undergone twists and turns over the past years, the commentary noted that "it was seriously hurt by Mumbai attacks in 2008, which killed 166 people".

India blamed Pakistan-based terrorists for the attacks, while Pakistan ruled out official involvement and arrested some suspects, but has not prosecuted them.

The two countries resumed peace dialogue, which was suspended after the Mumbai attacks, in February 2011.

"Bilateral ties further improved after Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh met on the sidelines of an international conference in the Maldives last November.

"Pakistan said in February that it would phase out major restrictions on Indian imports by the end of the year to normalize their trade relations."

The commentary said that "better bilateral ties will undoubtedly boost their economies and may help bring down their defense expenditures, bringing tangible benefits to the two countries and peoples".