India, Pak can't afford to prolong strained ties: Gilani

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Islamabad, May.1 (ANI): Underlining the need for reducing the heightened tension between both countries, Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that New Delhi and Islamabad cannot afford to continue their existing strained ties for an indefinite period.

In an informal conversation with reporters on his special aircraft enroute to Islamabad from Thimpu, where he held a meeting with his Indian counterpart Dr. Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the XVIth South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit, Gilani said the present thorny relations between India and Pakistan are only making the task of militants easier.

He reiterated that talks are the only way forward for both neighbours, as a prolonged strained relationship could have catastrophic effects.

"Such a situation could destabilise the whole region and that could result in a horrendous outcome. For that reason, the two countries have no option but to sit across the table and find a peaceful resolution of their problems through negotiations," The News quoted Gilani, as saying.

Responding to a question, he described his meeting with Dr.Singh as a 'significant' step, but added that the two countries have a long way to go before all issues are resolved and peace is established.

Gilani said the foreign ministers of both countries have been entrusted to chart out modalities for future dialogue.

"We have entrusted our foreign ministers and foreign secretaries with the job to work out the modalities for paving the way for sustainable peace between the two countries," he said. (ANI)

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