Threat perception from India necessitated talks: Gilani

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Islamabad, Feb.11 (ANI): Appreciating India's overtures to resume foreign secretary level talks, Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that Islamabad has always favoured peace talks.

In an interview with a private television channel, Gilani reiterated Pakistan's stance of restarting the Composite Dialogue between both countries, and added that the threat perception from India remains, so talks were necessary.

"I appreciate India's intention to resume talk. The 'threat perception' regarding India necessitated the need for a dialogue to resolve all outstanding issues between the two countries," Gilani said.

"There is an intention that we say that there will be no war. But intentions can change anytime. There is a threat perception, that's why we want dialogue," he added.

Gilani said it is the duty of the politicians to 'make bridges and not walls'

Interestingly, Gilani's statement welcoming the Indian offer came on the eve of a visit by US National Security Adviser General James Jones to Islamabad.

Responding to a question regarding Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani's recent statement that the Pakistan Army was India-centric, Gilani said the armed forces of both the countries are 'centered' towards each other.

Gilani said he would formally invite his Indian counterpart, Dr Manmohan Singh, to visit Pakistan whenever they meet in the near future.

When asked if there were any issues between the Presidency and the Army, he said: "A true friendship starts after a quarrel."

Earlier, Islamabad accepted New Delhi's proposal to host foreign-secretary level talks despite the latter's reluctance to resume the stalled composite talks.

"The political leadership believes that we should not decline the Indian offer and the engagement should resume at the earliest," The Dawn quoted a top Pakistani official, as saying.

The date and venue of the foreign secretary level talks is yet to be finalised. India has proposed February 18 and 25 as possible dates for the meeting. (ANI)

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