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Pakistan sees ‘positive’ development in ties with India

By Muhammad Najeeb,IANS,

Islamabad : Pakistan Tuesday said there were “positive”
developments in its relations with India during the last 48 hours amid
reports that the United States has backed Islamabad’s demand for “concrete
evidence” before taking action against the Mumbai attack suspects New Delhi
has named.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in a policy statement
issued Tuesday reiterated his stance on cooperating on a joint investigation
into the Mumbai incidents.

“Pakistan considers the development in last 48 hours as positive and
welcoming,” Qureshi said, adding: “I reiterate that Pakistan wants to
cooperate and has a positive approach.”

Officials here also see the release of 67 Pakistani prisoners by India as a
positive development that would help build confidence at the
people-to-people level. There are expectations that Islamabad will
reciprocate by releasing some of the Indian fishermen who are in Karachi

A senior official, meanwhile, said that the US had shared the Indian view of
launching “surgical strikes” inside Pakistan “but they were clearly told
that Islamabad will never tolerate it and would retaliate with full force”.

“We are glad that the United States understood our point and conveyed it
positively to New Delhi, after which the situation started normalizing,” the
official added.

The foreign minister said the meetings of Pakistan’s officials in Washington
had also helped promote the country’s point of view.

One other positive development, Qureshi said, was that Indian External
Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee had categorically stated that New Delhi
had not given any ultimatum to Pakistan, adding ultimatums do not help
improve relations between countries.

Qureshi also termed as positive the unscheduled telephonic conversation
sunday between the directors general of military operations of Pakistan and
India, and the telephonic conversation between President Asif Ali Zardari
and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

In a related development, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff
committee, General Tariq Majeed, called on Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani
and briefed him about the prevailing security situation in the region.