Important to move forward from decades old Indo-Pak trust deficit: Pak FO

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Islamabad, Jun.11 (ANI): Acknowledging that the trust deficit between India and Pakistan has existed from a long time, Islamabad has said that it was important to discuss all pending issues which bedevil the relationship between the two South Asian neighbours.

Addressing a regular briefing here, Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said that there was a need for moving forward with the peace talks in a sustained manner, to prevent it from being held up.

"I think you all understand that the trust deficit, which exists between Pakistan and India, is not a new phenomenon. It is there since decades for several reasons and you are all aware of those," The News quoted Basit, as saying.

"We believe that in order to move forward meaningfully with a view to bridging this trust deficit, it is important that, as agreed by the two prime ministers at Thimphu, we discuss all the issues, which continue to bedevil our relations and this is what we intend to do when the two foreign ministers meet in Islamabad in July," he added.

Referring to the proposed meeting between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan in Islamabad on July 15, Basit said that his country was in 'preparatory mode' for upcoming interactions with its neighbour, and also recalled Foreign Minsiter Shah Mehmood Qureshi's meeting with India's Commerce Minister Anand Sharma in Istanbul on the sidelines of an international conference.

"The meeting was also about a bilateral interaction between our interior minister and his Indian counterpart on the margins of the SAARC meeting in Islamabad (On June 26)," he said while referring to Pakistan High Commissioner Shahid Malik's meeting with Home Minister P. Chidambaram in New Delhi on Wednesday.

"Overall, I think both countries agree that we need to move forward in a sustained manner, so that the engagement process may not be disrupted again. There is also a realisation that it is important that we take meaningful steps forward, so that the trust deficit, which exists between our two countries, may be bridged," Basit added.

Commenting on the Amnesty International's report which slammed the Pakistan government for 'abandoning' millions of tribal people living in "human rights-free zone", he Foreign Office spokesperson stressed that the government was committed to improve human rights conditions in the country.

"There is no denying the fact that there are problems, there are issues that need to be handled and handled effectively. Having said that I would like to say that the government of Pakistan is sparing no effort in order to overcome these with a view that human rights of all our citizens are ensured in accordance with the Constitution," Basit said. (ANI)

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