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India must act responsibly, must resume dialogue: Pak

Last updated on: December 04, 2009 12:09 IST

Seeking resumption of composite dialogue, Pakistan has said that India must "act responsibly" and stop being negative or it too will lose interest in taking the peace process forward.

"We are facing a challenge but we cannot face it alone. We need a regional approach. India is an important regional player and it has to act responsibly," Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said.

Qureshi, accompanying Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, said: "India should not harp on the same thing," apparently referring to the Indian stand that it will not start composite dialogue unless Pakistan takes concrete action against those involved in the Mumbai terror attacks.

"It (India) has to be positive. You don't have to be negative. Now if you're negative, you're not helping your case. India says we will not talk. There will come a stage when Pakistan says so be it," Qureshi told NDTV news channel.

Qureshi recalled his meeting with External Affairs Minister S M Krishna in New York on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly sessions and said, "India's Foreign Minister S M Krishna had promised to come back after consulting his leadership but there has been nothing from him so far.

"They are still sticking to the position that Pakistan needs to do more. If you continue to harp on the same thing you will merely vitiate the atmosphere. I want to improve relations between the two countries. I really want to see progress and normalisation (of relations)."

"In New York, I had shared with Krishna a road map and the challenges that the region faces," Qureshi said pointing out that he was still waiting for the response from his Indian counterpart.

When asked about India's dossiers containing evidence against Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed and Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar, he said, "You have to differentiate between evidence which is shared between friends and colleagues diplomatically and evidence which is legally tenable... and if you don not differentiate the courts of law will throw out your case."

Qureshi praised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's move to talk to Pakistani leadership in Sharm El-Sheikh describing it as "very constructive and positive".

"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh very rightly agreed that the only sensible way forward is dialogue and he had acknowledged that we should not be hostage to an event undertaken by forces that wanted to scuttle the peace process," he said.

During the recently concluded Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting  -- a grouping of 53 former British colonies -- at Port of Spain, Krishna and Qureshi did not hold a bilateral meeting though both were present at the summit.

Image: Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi

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