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'Pak keen on building friendly relations'

world Updated: Jul 25, 2008 10:27 IST
H S Rao

Facing flak from its neighbours for failing to check terrorists operating from its soil, Pakistan has said it is keen on building strong and friendly relations with India and Afghanistan and sought international support for democratic institutions in the country.

"We want to build strong and friendly relations with both ours neighbours, India and Afghanistan," Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said at a dinner hosted by the Pakistani High Commissioner to the UK Wajid Shamsul Hasan at his official residence in London on Thursday night.

High Commissioner Hasan said Pakistan was currently passing through a difficult phase.

"In the first two to three months after the PPP-led Government came to power things were better. But subsequently things relapsed and "hopefully things will be alright," he said.

"We are facing challenging and difficult period and hopefully, this is the only way forward. All that I ask other countries is to support democracy and democratic institutions in Pakistan," Qureshi said.

A spurt in terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, including the Indian embassy bombing in Kabul on July 7, has led to increasing sharp attacks from New Delhi, Kabul as well as the US against Islamabad's failure to act against the Taliban militants holed up in its tribal areas.

"The Government has launched a multi-pronged strategy to deal with terrorists," Qureshi said and expressed the confidence that the government would win the battle "because we are on a moral high ground."