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Rail, air, bus links to be restored soon: Jamali
May 06, 2003 20:40 IST
Pakistan on Tuesday announced it will restore air, train and bus links with India soon and sought 'serious and substantive' dialogue on all issues, including Kashmir.
Pakistan Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali addressing the press in Islamabad also offered to hold the South Asian Federation games. He, however, assured the people of Pakistan that his country will not give up its stand on Kashmir.
In the first of a series of confidence building measures on the anvil, Jamali ordered the release of fishermen, members of the crew of an Indian trawler and some other Indian detained in Pakistan.
Jamali also favoured resumption of dialogue from where these were left at Agra. Calling for CBMs on the nuclear issue, he said the possession of nuclear weapons by the two countries have put a responsibility on them to 'seek nuclear and strategic stability' in the region.
"I believe all issues have to be addressed sincerely and constructively through sustained dialogue," Jamali said. "India should put the acrimony on the back-burner and discuss all issues, including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir," he said, adding that the national consensus was behind him to hold dialogue with India. Jamali also announced restoration of full diplomatic ties by sending a High Commissioner to India.
Jamali favoured CBMs enshrined in the 1999 Lahore Treaty providing for arms restraint and promotion of security in the region. Stating that Islamabad had to keep its fingers crossed politically, Jamali expressed hope for 'a good, solid solution' for all issues, including Kashmir. He replied in the affirmative when asked whether he would be talking to the All Party Hurriyat Conference.
Asked what made him confident that the talks would succeed this time, Jamali said, "My faith and commitment." To another question about possible role of a third party and whether he had any assurance on the outcome of talks, he said, "I need guarantee only from god, not anyone else. We (India and Pakistan) have spoken. Assurance comes from within."
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