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Dialogue only way forward: Pak PM

world Updated: Jul 18, 2009 19:54 IST
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Paying tribute to the "political sagacity" of his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Saturday that dialogue was the only way forward to restore sub-continental peace.

"Dialogue is the only way forward," he said at a press conference in Islamabad two days after the two countries had agreed to resume talks at the foreign secretary level by delinking terror from the composite dialogue process.

He also noted that Manmohan Singh, during their meeting Thursday at Sharm el-Sheikh on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Summit, had said that India was ready to discuss all issues and reiterated its commitment to a stable and developing Islamic republic of Pakistan.

"I appreciate Manmohan Singh's political sagacity, statesmanship and the realisation that 1.5 billion people of our two countries would be affected by not holding talks," Gilani said.

India had suspended the sub-continental dialogue process in the wake of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks that New Delhi has blamed on elements operating from Pakistan, which has named five of its nationals for staging the assault. Over 170 people, including 26 foreigners, had been killed in the mayhem that lasted for over 60 hours till the security forces killed nine attackers and capturing one alive.

Gilani also reiterated Pakistan's commitment to bring the perpetrators to book.

He also noted that India had agreed to share real time intelligence about terror suspects with India and to promote regional cooperation.

"I have summoned parliament and will take parliament into confidence (over the Sharm el-Sheikh talks). I will also summon the cabinet and take it into confidence," Gilani maintained.