Fresh from talks with his Indian counterpart during which New Delhi agreed not to link resumption of dialogue to Pakistan’s action against terrorism, Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani has said he hoped that Manmohan Singh’s political “expediencies” would not prevent normalisation of bilateral ties.
“Dr Singh has still to sell the idea of engagement with Pakistan back home, for which he needs time, and he is primarily trying to pacify those opposed to normalisation of ties between the two countries,” Gilani told ‘Dawn´ newspaper on the return flight from Egypt, where he met Singh on the sidelines of the NAM summit on Thursday.
Gilani said he hoped Singh’s political “expediencies” would not prevent normalisation of bilateral relations. “There may be expediencies, but we need to look ahead,” he said.
The Pakistani media has made much of India’s apparent climbdown on the issue of holding peace talks with Pakistan, but Gilani appeared not surprised by his Indian counterpart’s move during their recent meeting.
Gilani “appeared unfazed” by Singh agreeing to Pakistan’s contention of not linking Islamabad’s action against terrorism, especially against perpetrators of Mumbai attacks, to the revival of the dialogue, Dawn reported on Sunday.
After the meeting, the Pakistani media had referred to the development as a “major retreat” and “climbdown” by India.