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Don't get swayed by partisan considerations: Gilani to India

Source: PTI
August 04, 2009 00:07 IST
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Pakistani Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday said India should not get swayed by "partisan considerations" on the decisions arrived at during his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Egypt, an apparent reference to uproar in New Delhi over certain aspects of the joint statement.

Gilani said it is essential for both India and Pakistan to keep their sights on the long-term vision and that the summit outcome must not be viewed in a zero-sum perspective.

"We have seen some disquiet, being expressed in India by certain circles, on the outcome of the Sharm El Sheikh summit. We believe, at this historic juncture, it is imperative, not to be swayed by partisan considerations," he said, addressing the National Assembly.

"It is essential to keep our sights on the long-term vision. The summit outcome must not be viewed in a zero-sum perspective. This is a win-win for both sides, as the cause of peace in South Asia, has been advanced," Gilani said.

The Prime Minister said during his meeting with Singh, he also expressed "our serious concerns over Indian interference in Balochistan, and other areas of Pakistan."

"The Joint Statement recognises, that dialogue is the only way forward. It underlines, that action on terrorism should not be linked to the Composite Dialogue process, and these two matters should not be bracketed," he said.

Opposition parties in India have rapped the government for including Balochistan and de-linking action taken by Pakistan on terrorism and dialogue in the Joint Statement issued after the meeting between Singh and Gilani in Sharm el-Sheikh on July 16.

The Pakistani Premier said it is important to resume the Composite Dialogue "which made some progress in several areas in the past and offers the promise of measured steps towards resolution of all outstanding issues, notably the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and also the waters issues."

He also said Pakistan was committed to bringing the perpetrators of Mumbai attacks to justice. Gilani also said Pakistan has no doubt about Singh's sincerity "in working to improve Pakistan-India relations, by addressing the issues, that have divided us or bedevilled our relations for decades."

"We agree, that engagement and comprehensive dialogue on all issues, is the only way forward to realise the vision of a stable and prosperous South Asia," he said.

India reiterated its readiness to discuss all issues with Pakistan, including all outstanding issues, he said. Noting that Pakistan's approach on relations with India is clear and consistent and is supported by all stakeholders, Gilani said Islamabad wants to have a friendly, cooperative and good-neighbourly relationship, based on the principles of equality, mutual respect and mutual interest.

"Pakistan is cognizant of the need, for effectively addressing the issue of terrorism, which is a regional and global issue. Pakistan has been the victim of terrorism," Gilani said.

"These matters were taken up firmly and squarely in our meeting in Sharm El Sheikh. We believe that no country -- Pakistan, India, or Afghanistan -- should allow their territory, to be used for terrorist purposes against any other," he said.

Gilani said it is important to strictly adhere to the principles, of non-intervention and non-interference. "Pakistan further believes that sustained dialogue and engagement are the real way forward. It is our conviction that durable peace and stability in South Asia, can only be established, by making meaningful progress toward resolving the outstanding issues," Gilani said.

"We agree, that engagement and comprehensive dialogue on all issues, is the only way forward to realize the vision of a stable and prosperous South Asia," the Prime Minister said.

He said the peace dividend from an improved relationship between India and Pakistan would be enormous for the 1.5 billion people of South Asia. "Pakistan had, from the outset, indicated to India, that we would have an open mind, and a constructive approach. We had made clear, our desire to discuss all issues, including terrorism, and to seek a resumption of the Composite Dialogue process," the Premier said in his address to Parliament.

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