India and Pakistan have to talk, says Gilani


London : India and Pakistan have no option but to talk, Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said, days before foreign ministers of the two countries meet.

Support TwoCircles

Both Pakistan and India have realised that their relations should not become hostage to the Mumbai “incident”, Gilani told reporters Thursday, referring to the 2008 terror attack on Mumbai that seriously strained their ties.

This is why, he said, the two countries had come to the table to discuss all outstanding issues, including the Kashmir dispute, the Associated Press of Pakistan reported.

Gilani, who is visiting Britain, said the two foreign ministers would meet July 27 in New Delhi to discuss a range of issues.

“If the two countries do not talk, the beneficiaries will be the militants,” he said.

The prime minister said while Pakistan considered its relations with the US “extremely important”, he admitted their relations had been strained since the American killing of Osama bin Laden May 2.

He said the unilateral American killing of the Al Qaeda chief in Abbattobad city had led to “misunderstanding” after Pakistan voiced reservations for not being taken into confidence.

Asked about the arrest of Kashmiri leader Ghulam Nabi Fai in the US, Gilani said that he belonged to “(Indian) occupied Kashmir” and his arrest had “nothing to do with Pakistan’s clear-cut policy on Kashmir”.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has arrested Fai, an American citizen, of taking money from Islamabad and its intelligence agency to push the Kashmiri cause in Washington.