Pak, India should move forward to resolve outstanding issues: Gilani
Pakistan and India should move forward together to resolve their outstanding issues through dialogue as wars offer no solutions, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said days ahead of Foreign Secretary-level talks between the two countries.world Updated: Jun 22, 2010 13:36 IST
Pakistan and India should move forward together to resolve their outstanding issues through dialogue as wars offer no solutions, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said days ahead of Foreign Secretary-level talks between the two countries.
It is vital for the two countries to "move forward together towards resolving their core issues as wars are no solution", Gilani told reporters on Monday after attending a function at Garhi Khuda Baksh in Sindh province to mark slain former premier Benazir Bhutto's birth anniversary.
Gilani said Pakistan and India cannot afford war because they are facing a number of important issues, including poverty, unemployment and terrorism.
Dialogue, and not war, is the only solution to these problems, he said.
He said his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh had agreed to discuss core issues and find solutions through negotiations.
"I received a letter from the Indian Prime Minister (on Sunday) and he has expressed his willingness to initiate dialogue in line with our earlier talks," he said.
The letter also detailed the programme of upcoming meetings at different levels between the two countries and expressed the hope that the meetings would lead to a wider dialogue, Gilani said.
Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao is scheduled to hold talks with her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir in Islamabad on June 24.
Two days later, Home Minister P Chidambaram will attend a SAARC Interior Ministers meeting in Islamabad.
Chidambaram will also hold talks with his Pakistani counterpart Rehman Malik on the sidelines of the SAARC meet.
The Foreign Secretaries have been tasked by Prime Ministers Gilani and Singh to find ways to bridge the trust deficit between the two countries and to prepare the ground for a meeting of the Foreign Ministers in Islamabad on July 15.
Rao and Chidambaram are the first senior Indian officials to visit Islamabad since the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which were blamed on the Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Taiba terror group.
India suspended the composite dialogue process in the wake of the attacks that killed 166 people.