Pakistan seeks de-escalation of tensions with India: Gilani
Pakistan desires the de-escalation of tensions sparked by the Mumbai terror attacks and hopes that this sentiment will be reciprocated by the Indian leadership, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said today.India’s Military Optionsworld Updated: Dec 31, 2008 15:26 IST
Pakistan desires the de-escalation of tensions sparked by the Mumbai terror attacks and hopes that this sentiment will be reciprocated by the Indian leadership, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Tuesday.
During a meeting with visiting Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister He Yafie, dispatched by Beijing to Islamabad to help reduce regional tensions, Gilani reiterated Pakistan's "firm resolve for maintaining good relations with all its neighbours".
Gilani said only "elements inimical to cordial Pakistan-India ties and terrorists had benefited from the situation that evolved" after the Mumbai incident.
Pakistan desires the de-escalation of tensions and is hopeful its stance will be reciprocated by the Indian leadership, he added.
Terrorism is a global phenomenon and Pakistan is among the countries most affected by it, he said. The Pakistan government is determined "to persist in its efforts to eradicate this menace" and wants collective action by all the countries in the region, Gilani said.
Earlier in the day, Gilani told reporters on the sidelines of a function at a university here that Pakistan wants good relations with all its neighbours. Noting that Pakistan is a peace-loving and responsible nuclear state, he said: "We want to maintain good relations with India.
"Our stand from the beginning is that we don't want to fight with anyone," he said, adding that he appreciated the efforts made by friendly countries for the resumption of normal relations between Pakistan and India.
Asked about the investigations into the Mumbai attacks, Gilani said he had already assured his Indian
counterpart Manmohan Singh of full cooperation in this regard.
Gilani said the issue of imposing restrictions on the Jamaat-ud-Dawah was being considered by the UN Security Council even before India went to the world body.
He said the government would not allow Pakistani soil to be used for terrorism as this would give Western powers an opportunity to take action against the country.
"Our soil should not be used for terrorism. If that happens, NATO forces will get an opportunity to react," he said.
Referring to the drive against Taliban militants, Gilani said: "We don't want any parallel governments in the country and the writ of the government should not be challenged."
The government is against extremism and does not favour fighting with people in the tribal areas, he said.
"A handful of miscreants are trying to destroy the peace and challenging the writ of the government. The tribesmen are very patriotic and have always protected the country's frontiers," he added.