Pak asks India to send 'positive signals'
Putting the onus on India to "reduce" regional tensions, Pakistan said New Delhi must "deactivate" its forward airbases to send a "positive signal" for creating a "good atmosphere."world Updated: Dec 30, 2008 21:29 IST
Putting the onus on India to "reduce" regional tensions, Pakistan on Tuesday said New Delhi must "deactivate" its forward airbases and relocate to peace time locations troops deployed in forward posts to send a "positive signal" for creating a "good atmosphere."
Pakistan however said there had been certain developments in the past 48 hours that it thinks "augur well for the situation". It also renewed its offer to cooperate with India in bringing perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks to justice.
"If the forward airbases activated by India are deactivated, it will be a very positive signal," Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said in a brief address on state-run PTV.
Qureshi also proposed that ground forces which have been deployed to forward posts should be relocated to peace time positions.
"This will be a positive signal and regional tensions will reduce," he said, adding a "good atmosphere will be created to take things forward."
National Security Adviser Mahmud Ali Durrani said both countries need to remove the "mistrust" and "put behind" the Mumbai attacks to jointly fight terrorism.
"We want a nice friendly relationship with India so that we can both live in peace. This is not only good for the two countries, but good for the whole region," Durrani said.
One of these developments was External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee's comment that India had not given Pakistan any ultimatum with regard to the Mumbai terror attacks, he said.
"Neighbours can't solve problems through ultimatums. Problems can be solved only through dialogue in a peaceful atmosphere," Qureshi said.
Another positive development was the direct contact over the weekend between the directors general of military operations of the two countries as this will also help reduce tensions, Qureshi said.
The foreign minister said Pakistan would cooperate fully with India once it shared evidence and information regarding the Mumbai attacks.
"The government of Pakistan wants to assure (India) that when the evidence reaches us our approach from day one was constructive and desirous of peace and we will make all efforts to get to the bottom of the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice," Qureshi said.
He said India still had not shared any evidence on the Mumbai attacks with Pakistan.
"The basic reason for this is that their investigation is yet to be completed. As soon as their investigation is completed, they will share evidence with us," he added.
Expressing Pakistan's desire to cooperate with India, Qureshi said: "direct contacts and diplomatic channels must be kept open" and the two sides should not ignore the importance of dialogue.
"The peace process is important for both countries. We have always wished that we could sit at the table and understand each other's positions and take things forward," he said.
"Pressures and coercion between neighbours don't solve problems. They worsen matters and should be avoided. They will benefit only those who carried out (the Mumbai attacks) to spark tensions and put regional peace at stake."
Qureshi also said: "Geography has made us neighbours and we must learn to live as good neighbours."
First Published: Dec 30, 2008 19:42 IST