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Pakistan-India dialogue increases SAARC significance: Gilani


Islamabad : The dialogue process between Pakistan and India has increased the importance and effectiveness of the SAARC forum, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said here Wednesday.

He was speaking to the media before departing on a three-day visit to the Maldives to attend the 17th SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) summit.

Gilani said SAARC had earlier been losing its effectiveness and could not move forward due to tense ralations between the two countries.

The SAARC forum’s value and importance have now increased manifold since Islamabad and New Delhi started discussing their mutual disputes on the dialogue table, the official APP news agency quoted Gilani as saying.

“Naturally, Pakistan and India have a dialogue procedure under which everything is going in the right direction,” he responded to a question.

Gilani is expected to meet Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday on the sidelines of the summit.

The Pakistani prime minister is heading a 12-member delegation to the SAARC summit that includes Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Communications Minister Arbab Alamgir and Ports and Shipping Minister Babar Khan Ghori, among others.