Pakistan harps on resuming composite dialogue with India


Islamabad : Harping on resuming the composite dialogue process, Pakistan said Wednesday that it wanted to resolve all outstanding issues with India through talks “rather than war.”

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“We are ready to resume the composite dialogue process with India as we want outstanding issues are resolved through dialogue rather than war,” Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira told reporters here.

“However, we are not oblivious to our defence”, he added.

Responding to a question, he said that Kashmir and water were two crucial issues with India.

“Kashmir was and would remain our top priority,” he said, adding: “We want to live with our neighbouring countries peacefully. Problems are resolved through dialogue rather than wars.”

“It is our endeavour that India comes to the negotiating table and headway has been made in this respect,” Online news agency quoted Kaira as saying.

India had suspended the composite dialogue in the wake of the Nov 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks that it has blamed on elements operating from this country. It has now suggested two dates – Feb 18 or Feb 25 – for talks between the foreign secretaries of the countries, saying that while they would focus on countering terrorism, other matters of mutual concern could also be discussed.

Ever since then, Pakistani leaders have been insisting that the composite dialogue process be resumed.

India says it is premature to talk about resuming this at the present moment and has made it clear to Pakistan that the proposed foreign secretary-level talks are part of “a step-by-step incremental approach” and that Islamabad should “do more” to address New Delhi’s concerns over cross-border terror.

Pakistani High Commissioner to India Shahid Malik is currently in Islamabad to discuss the suggested dates with the foreign office.