Britain supports Pakistan re-entry in C'Wealth

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Islamabad, Apr 21 (UNI) British Foreign Secretary David Milliband today said his country fully supports Pakistan's re-entry to the Commonwealth, and its new policy of reconciliation with militants if they are willing to give up violence.

''Britain will support Pakistan's multi-pronged comprehensive strategy to deal with the menace of terrorism,'' he told a joint news conference with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Islamabad.

Mr Miliband arrived in Pakistan yesterday and held talks with President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani besides visiting Peshawar and meeting tribal elders there.

He said the Britain supports a multi-dimensional political, economic and military strategy to resolve the issue of terrorism.

There should be reconciliation with those who support peace and want to remain in the limits of law, he said, adding that reconciliation (with militants) did not mean to create space for those who were engaged in violence.

Mr Milliband said the UK also supported Pakistan-India dialogue and hoped that with the installation of democratic government in Pakistan, this dialogue process would lead to resolution of all outstanding issues including Kashmir.

Mr Qureshi in his statement said political engagements between the two countries would further improve understanding on various issues and bring stability in the region.

He claimed second visit of the UK Foreign Secretary in eight months was reflective of their close developing ties and UK's close interest in regional stability and Pakistan's socio-economic development.

Mr Qureshi believed both the countries had common perceptions on various regional and international issues and that he had held meaningful dialogue with his British counterpart during the visit.

The Foreign Minister said both the countries had agreed to have multi-dimension approach to solve the problem of terrorism and they felt that there was a growing realisation in the world to resolve the issue through dialogue.

Answering a question regarding dialogue with India he said the 5th round would begin next month and hoped that both the countries would move forward to resolve all outstanding issues.


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