Discuss all issues, including JK: Pak

Posted By: Staff
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Beijing, Feb 23: While India is determined to focus only on terror during the Foreign Secretary-level talks on Feb 25, Pakistan on Tuesday, Feb 23 said that it wants to discuss all bilateral issues, including Kashmir.

"It (Indo-Pak Foreign Secretaries meeting) is going to be an exploratory meeting. The Pakistan government is seriously working to improve relations with India. We seek peaceful settlement of all outstanding disputes, including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir with India," Qureshi said.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who is on his official visit to China, expressed hope on a meaningful outcome from the talks.

“After 14 months, they (India) have reengaged with us and invited us for a dialogue. We want a dialogue but we want a meaningful dialogue.

“We want all issues that are of concern of both sides brought on to the table to that dialogue is serious meaningful and result oriented. We have to see what comes out of the 25th meeting," he said.

Hinting at India's decision to stick with terror issue, Qureshi said that limiting the talk to particular issue would be a hindrance in improving bilateral ties.

"If India restricts the agenda or tries to narrow it down to its own immediate needs, then much progress will not be reached," he said.

Responding to the criticism by an Indian journalist for its failure to act against a particular terror group in the country, Qureshi said that Pakistan too had its share of terror attacks.

"Can you understand the human loss that we have had? Can you calculate the very obvious hidden economic costs Pakistan has paid on account of terrorism?"

"We are victims as much if not more than India is (of terrorism). Instead of accusing each other, let us sit together and find out how to collectively defeat the forces that are trying to undermine the peace and stability of the region," Qureshi said.

Qureshi condemned India's earlier decision to suspend dialogues, adding that the Pakistan was happy that India decided to go ahead with the dialogue despite the Pune blast.

"For the sake of discussion, let us agree that we have not done enough, does that qualify for suspending dialogue and does that invite greater understanding and cooperation."

"Should we shut our minds and look at other directions realising that there is common challenge we are facing?" he asked.
Qureshi said that Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan during their meeting at Sharm-el-Sheikh in July 2009 realised the importance of dialogue to end problems between the two countries.

"I think that there was a realisation in India that (suspension of talks) was a negative and knee-jerk reaction and I am glad you are rethinking on that. So as far being effected by terrorism is concerned, does India realise the challenge Pakistan is facing?" the Foreign Minister asked.

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