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More cooperation needed to combat terrorism: Pak PM tells Dr Singh

Rezaul H Laskar | July 24, 2008 18:07 IST

Highlighting the need to root out terrorism, Pakistan Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani on Thursday told his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh [Images] that 'the present state of unrest in the region demanded more cooperation in combating the menace.

Gilani telephoned Singh today to congratulate him on winning the crucial trust vote and said that his success "is the success of democracy and such democratic norms must be encouraged in the region for strengthening the relations between the two countries".

Noting that Pakistan attached immense importance to its relations with India, he said, "The present state of unrest in the region demands more cooperation in the field of combating terrorism and extremism as both the countries are victims of this menace."

His comments came in the wake of war of words between the two countries over a suicide attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul that India and Afghanistan blamed on Pakistan's intelligence agency.

                                            Also Read: Kabul blast: 4 Indians among 41 killed

Gilani further said that "a stable Afghanistan is in the safe interest of all countries of the region and all possible efforts must be made to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan".

Singh told Gilani that all "outstanding issues, including the issue of Kashmir between India and Pakistan, will be resolved amicably," said a statement issued by the Prime Minister's House.

"The Indian premier also assured his full support and cooperation in this regard", the statement said. Gilani said he was looking forward to meeting Singh in the forthcoming South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation summit in Colombo.

He said, "As a prologue to the SAARC summit, the foreign ministers of the two countries may also discuss various bilateral issues, including the issue of Kashmir, before the meeting of the two leaders".

In the wake of the suicide car bombing at the Indian embassy in Kabul that killed nearly 60 people, including two Indian diplomats, Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon said on Monday that the peace process with Pakistan was 'under stress'.

                                       Also Read: ISI involvement in Kabul embassy blast

"Unfortunately, certain incidents in the recent past have vitiated the atmosphere between India and Pakistan. The dialogue process is under stress," Menon told reporters after meeting Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir in New Delhi to launch the fifth round of the composite dialogue.

"There have been statements by leaders of Pakistan inciting terror... and this incitement of violence has culminated in suicide blasts in our embassy in Kabul. All investigations point to Pakistan being behind the blast," he said.

Bashir rejected the accusations and said the peace talks were 'on track'.




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