Need to avoid further vitiation of atmosphere: Zardari | world | Hindustan Times
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Need to avoid further vitiation of atmosphere: Zardari

world Updated: Dec 30, 2008 02:29 IST
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Observing that there was a need to avoid "further vitiation of the atmosphere", President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday said Pakistan and India should engage in dialogue to address their differences.

During a meeting with visiting Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister He Yafei, sent to Islamabad by Beijing to help defuse regional tensions, Zardari said Pakistan wants peace and stability in the region and wants to promote friendly ties with all its neighbours, including India.

Zardari "agreed on the need to avoid further vitiation of the atmosphere", said a statement issued by the Foreign Office. "Pakistan and India need to engage in dialogue to address their differences," he added.

"Pakistan wishes to resolve all its disputes with India in a peaceful manner," he said.

Zardari said Pakistan had offered assistance and cooperation to India to investigate the Mumbai terror attacks and "displayed restraint and conciliation".

"Our constructive proposals were aimed at sustained and pragmatic cooperation to deal with the problem of terrorism," he said, adding he regretted "that instead of responding to Pakistan's positive gestures, India had engaged in a blame-game which was counter-productive".

He Yafei said the Chinese government was concerned over the current tensions between India and Pakistan. China wants peace in the region and "would like to see early steps towards de-escalation of tensions and resume dialogue.

The Chinese special envoy expressed the hope that Pakistan and India will "exercise restraint and work together to resolve their outstanding disputes in a peaceful manner".

He added: "Cooperation and dialogue was the only way forward."

He Yafei said China would remain engaged to promote peace and stability in the region.

Earlier in the day, the Chinese envoy met army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, interior ministry chief Rehman Malik and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani as part of Beijing's push to defuse tensions between India and Pakistan.

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