'Pak to normalise relationship with India'

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Rawalpindi, Dec 24: Pakistan"s caretaker Information Minister Nisar A Memon is optimistic that the process of normalising relations with India would not only be continued, but further promoted with spirit and gusto by the next government.

Welcomed a statement by Indian leaders about the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project, Memon said that bilateral relations would be further cemented. He also emphasised the need for finalising the agreement as it was in the interest of both countries. The policies followed by President Musharraf should serve as a beacon of light, not only in foreign policy, but also in the economic domain, he said. He hoped the next government would not only continue these policies, but also try to add more strength to them.

Memon expressed the hope that Washington would continue its moral and material support to Pakistan to fight terrorism in all its manifestations. He said the appreciative statements of President Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other US officials on the steps taken by Musharraf to make the elections fair and transparent were welcome.

These statements show that the Bush Administration has finally realised Musharraf"s sincerity in holding transparent elections in Pakistan, Memon said while on a visit to the offices of The News and the Jang.

He also welcomed the forthcoming visit of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, saying this would go a long way in addressing thorny bilateral issues.


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