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Indo-Pak dialogue process to pay dividends
K J M Varma in Islamabad
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Coverage: India-Pakistan Peace Process

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March 13, 2007 22:52 IST

Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on Tuesday said the ongoing dialogue process between India and Pakistan could result in the resolution of outstanding disputes between them.

Aziz told visiting Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon, who called on him at the PM House, that Pakistan was keen to settle all disputes with India including the issue of Kashmir in keeping with the aspirations of Kashmiri people.

The prime minister said Islamabad was firmly committed to the process of composite dialogue, which needed to be made more meaningful and result oriented.

"Pakistan will also continue to pursue confidence building measures as they have been instrumental in improving both the ambience and relationship between the two countries," Aziz said in a statement.

He said that improvement in relations between the two countries required both sides to demonstrate courage and vision to find an early and sustainable solution to bilateral issues. On the Samjhota Express blasts, he said Pakistan expected India to inform it about the findings of its investigation. 'Pakistan also expects the Indian government to take all necessary steps to ensure safety of this train in India to prevent the recurrence of such tragic incident,' state run APP quoted him as saying.

The report said Menon has assured Aziz that India will share with Pakistan the results of its inquiry into the train accident.

Aziz also said he was looking forward to his visit to India next month as Pakistan was committed to the objectives of the SAARC and considered it as an important forum to promote understanding and advance cooperation in the region.

He said that relevant authorities in Pakistan too had been instructed to take all precautions for the security of Indian trains and buses plying in Pakistan.

Briefing on his meeting with Aziz, Menon said the Pakistan prime minister pointed out that large economic potential exists between the two countries and resolution of disputes will make it easier to exploit it.

Aziz said it was important for the two countries to work together, the foreign secretary said.

Menon, who also met Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri, said there was clear expression of political will on both sides to take the relationship forward.

Both countries want progress in the composite dialogue and peace process so that they could have good neighbourly relations.

In view of the SAARC Summit taking place next month, Menon also discussed with Aziz and Kasuri ways in which the eight nation regional body could be made more effective.

The two sides talked about the potential existing in the SAARC, which needed to be exploited.
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