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Pak wants engagement with India to find solution to all issues

Pakistan today said it is ready to engage with India to find an "amicable" solution to outstanding issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, and asked the US "to do everything in its power" to resolve this dispute.

world Updated: Oct 19, 2010 12:06 IST

Pakistan on Tuesday said it is ready to engage with India to find an "amicable" solution to outstanding issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, and asked the US "to do everything in its power" to resolve this dispute.

"Pakistan is willing to engage India in a comprehensive dialogue to normalise relations between the two countries by finding amicable solutions to all outstanding issues including the core dispute of Jammu and Kashmir,"

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said during a lecture at the Harvard Kennedy School. He said that the countries have to "realistically understand" that improved relations between the two nuclear armed powers of South Asia - Pakistan and India - "is the missing key to regional peace."

"We urge the US, a friend of both India and Pakistan, to do everything in its power to resolve this conflict and remove one more source of Muslim discontent and anger, taking oxygen out of the terrorist's fire," he told a gathering of over 700 students and professors at the School here.

He said "unfortunately" India and Pakistan have some "outstanding issues" and the "US has to realise" that those issues have to be addressed. "We can't wish them (outstanding issues) away. They keep haunting us. We have to address them, the sooner we address them, the better it is for the entire region."

He said while there is large constituency for peace on both sides of the border, there is also a "vociferous minority... jingoistic voices" on both sides. He, however, added that new generations are "taking control" on both sides, who have "not seen the pains of the partition" but realise what the "dividends" of peace would be.

"Pakistan views the prevailing situation in Kashmir with great concern," he said, adding that "men and women of goodwill" in both India and Pakistan know that "this issue must be addressed once for all if the Kashmir time bomb was to be diffused." Qureshi said terrorism is a "common enemy" for India and Pakistan and the two countries need to "collectively" fight the menace.

He said that if India and Pakistan "turn away" from each other, terrorists and extremists will be the "net beneficiaries."

He said the two countries can tackle extremism and terrorism if both sides realise that "this is the common enemy and we need a common approach to defeat this menace... If we turn away, if we disengage, they will be the net beneficiaries."