India has to play more positive, accommodating role: Gilani

Manmohan Singh-Yousuf Raza Gilani
Islamabad, Jul 6: India has to play a ''more positive and accommodating role'' and respond to Pakistan's ''legitimate security concerns'' in order to resolve outstanding issues, including Kashmir, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said today (Jul 6).

"Pakistan would like to resolve all outstanding issues with India in a peaceful and just manner. However, India will have to play a more positive and accommodating role and respond to Pakistan's legitimate security concerns," Gilani said.

"India will not find Pakistan lacking in will to write a new chapter in our bilateral relations," the Premier said addressing a seminar organised by the military in Mingora, the headquarters of Swat district in the country's northwest.

Gilani said Pakistan sees India as a "most important neighbour" and "desires sustained, substantive and result-oriented process of dialogue" to resolve all outstanding issues, including the "core issue of Jammu and Kashmir".

"We sincerely hope that the ongoing process of comprehensive engagement will be fruitful," he added.

Gilani's remarks came ahead of a planned meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the two countries in New Delhi later this month.

The two sides resumed their dialogue process in February after a gap of over two years in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks that were carried out by the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba terror group.

The Pakistan Premier spoke about the country's relations with its neighbours and a wide range of issues, including the war on terrorism, during his address at the "de-radicalisation seminar" organised by the military to discuss ways to wean people away from militancy and extremism.

Referring to the South Asian region, Gilani said Pakistan is committed to "working in unison with all neighbours for establishment of peace and elimination of terrorism".

A "stable united, friendly and peaceful Afghanistan" is in Pakistan's best interest, he said.
"Pakistan wants an independent and sovereign Afghanistan without any external influence," he remarked.

In recent months, Pakistan has been jockeying for a greater role in negotiations with the Afghan Taliban as the US begins the process of withdrawing its troops from neighbouring war-torn country.

Within Pakistan, Gilani said, his government's counter-terrorism strategy was "home-grown and indigenous in character".

The strategy comprises four Ds – dialogue, deterrence, development and defeating the terrorists' ideology and mindset, he said.

"The government galvanised public support against terrorism and gave political ownership to the national struggle against terrorism," he said.

Law enforcement operations conducted by Pakistani security forces were a "success story" that is being emulated in Afghanistan, he claimed.


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