Pak ready to resolve all issues with India: Gilani
The era of wars has ended and Pakistan is prepared to resolve all outstanding issues with India, including the Kashmir dispute and terrorism, through talks, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Monday.
"The era of wars has ended. We are ready to sit and resolve all core issues -- whether it is Kashmir, Sir Creek, Siachen, water or terrorism -- at the negotiating table," Gilani said while addressing a conference on the role of NGOs in the development of Pakistan.
Instead of trying to resolve issues through force, the government has adopted a policy of progress and negotiations, he said.
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Image: File image of Pakistan PM Gilani shaking hands with PM Singh during the 17th SAARC summit in Maldives
Photographs: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters
'Illiteracy, poverty basic causes for terrorism'
A hand of friendship had been extended to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he added.
Noting that people had been talking of the need to withdraw troops from Siachen following an avalanche that hit a Pakistan army camp and buried 138 people, Gilani said Islamabad is ready for talks with New Delhi on all core issues.
The premier contended that the basic causes of terrorism and extremism were illiteracy and poverty.
India and Pakistan resumed their peace process last year after a gap of over two years in the aftermath of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, which were blamed on the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Tayiba.
Since then, the two sides have taken several steps to normalise relations, especially in the field of trade.
Image: The burning Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai during the 26/11 terror strikes
A welcome step?
President Asif Ali Zardari went to India on a day-long private visit a day after the avalanche slammed into a high-altitude Pakistan army camp in the Siachen sector on April 7.
He met Indian Prime Minister Singh, who called for practical and pragmatic solutions to the problems between the two countries.
Following a visit to the Siachen sector on April 18, army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani called for all issues between India and Pakistan to be resolved to ensure "peaceful co-existence" which would allow the two countries to focus on development.
He further said Pakistan hoped the Siachen issue is "resolved so that both the countries don't have to pay the cost".
Image: Pakistan's Army Chief General Kayani speaks to the media in Skardu after visiting the site of an avalanche in Gayari camp near the Siachen glacier
Photographs: Faisal Mahmood/Reuters