India approaching talks with Pak with positive frame of mind

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Islamabad, May 20 (UNI) India today said it would approach the next round of talks with Pakistan for the fifth round of the Composite Dialogue Process (CDP), being held here tomorrow, in a spirit of trust, cooperation and pragmatism and several proposals in political, economic and regional fields were on the anvil for cooperation and implementation.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee who arrived here this afternoon for talks with his Pakistani counterpart Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, said that during his discussions with Pakistani leaders, he hoped to consolidate the progress made in bilateral relationship.

That would provide a good basis for the fifth round of the CDP, the External Affairs Minister said in a statement upon arrival at the Chaklala Air Force Base here.

''Several proposals in the political, economic and regional fields are on the anvil for consideration and implementation. We approach the next round in a spirit of cooperation, trust and pragmatism. This predicated on an atmosphere free from terrorism, violence or the threat of it,'' he said. He said that during his last visit to Islamabad, he had ''fruitful discussions'' with the Government of Pakistan and it had been the anticipation that the Fourth Round of the CDP would be productive and fruitful.

''I am glad that our two countries indeed made considerable progress on various issues of mutual interest during the year 2007,'' he added.

The External Affairs Minister said his present visit to Pakistan comes amid a new democratic environment of ''great promise.'' He paid tributes to the people of Pakistan for successful conduct of the general election and expressed confidence that the present environment would help in addressing various issues related to peace, stability and economic development.

''I am, therefore, looking forward to meeting the leadership of Pakistan. I am sure my meetings with the President, Prime Minister, my colleague the Foreign Minister and other leaders of Pakistan would be useful for furthering peace, stability, people-to-people contact and accelerated economic development of both our countries, as well as our entire region.,'' he said.

The External Affairs Minister will call on Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani tomorrow before discussions with Mr Qureshi.

He also met Pakistani leaders Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari today. Mr Mukherjee said that during his discussions with mr Qureshi, he hoped to consolidate the progress made in bilateral relationship, which provides a good basis for the fifth Round of the CDP.


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