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Gilani hopes upcoming Indo-Pak dialogue would be fruitful

world Updated: May 07, 2010 21:42 IST
Yousuf Raza Gilani

Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Friday said he hoped the upcoming Indo-Pak dialogue would be fruitful and help resolve outstanding issues between the two countries, including the Kashmir dispute.

"I hope the dialogue will bear fruit and can find a way to resolve the issues, including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, between the two countries," he said, referring to a decision made by him and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh to resume the stalled dialogue process.

In his monthly address to the nation on radio, Gilani said he had very useful and constructive meetings with heads of states, including Indian Prime Minister Singh, on the sidelines of the SAARC summit in Bhutan last month.

Gilani said that during his talks with his Indian counterpart, he had emphasised that dialogue is a must for permanent peace in the region.

Singh had agreed that all issues should be resolved through dialogue, he said.

He also said that he had clarified to leaders at the SAARC summit that the whole region was confronted with terrorism.

The people and armed forces of Pakistan were fighting a war against terrorism to maintain peace in the region and have made unprecedented sacrifices in this fight, he said.

Describing a recent landmark constitutional reforms package that stripped the President of his sweeping powers as the "first step towards greater political stability and socio-economic progress," Gilani said it provided a mechanism for addressing the problems of the masses.

"Some critics in television programmes and in the media questioned how these amendments benefited the common man... I want to make it clear that these reforms provide a mechanism for addressing the problems of the masses," Gilani said.

Without a system, mismanagement prevails and this is bound to bring deterioration and not betterment in the situation, he said.

The reforms were "the first step towards political stability and socio-economic progress. In fact, the constitution provides the foundation for a stable, developed and prosperous country and nation," he said.

Gilani said during his recent visit to the US to attend a global nuclear summit, he told the world community that Pakistan's nuclear programme was for defensive and peaceful purposes and it was in safe hands.

Heads of states who participated in the summit, including US President Barack Obama, supported Pakistan's stance, he added.