Mukherjee for early resumption of Indo-Pak dialogue
H A Eklavya
As a democratically elected government has been established in neighboring Pakistan, India has asked for an early resumption of the composite dialogue process between the two nations that was unfortunately stalled due to the political developments in that country.
India's External Affairs Minister, Pranab Mukherjee has discussed the possibilities of fixing up a date for a meeting to review the last round of the composite dialogue process with his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mahmood Qureshi
He said, "We have sought the resumption of the composite dialogue process between India and Pakistan and we will review it at an early date." Qureshi took over as Pakistan's new Foreign Minister the other day.
In this connection, Foreign Secretary, Shiv Shankar Menon is expected to go to Islamabad this month to review the progress made in the fourth round of the composite dialogue, which ended in October last year. This will be followed by the review meeting of the two foreign ministers where the fifth round of the process is also likely to be announced.
In a statement issued from the Pakistan Foreign Office (PFO), Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that Pakistan was proposing dates for holding the review meetings of the fourth round of the ongoing composite dialogue between the two countries and the dialogue process covers eight areas including Siachen, Sir Creek, trade and Confidential Building Measures (CBMs).
He also talked to Mukherjee about the need and importance of peace and stability in the region for the common benefit of the peoples of the two countries and with the positive signals coming out of Islamabad, New Delhi feels positive about Indo-Pak ties at this stage and there is no possibility of any reversal of the peace process.
Besides, Qureshi has also said that Pakistan wants friendly ties with India and that there are signals of reciprocity from the other side. On the Kashmir issue, he said that the government was looking for a just resolution of the issue.
While Pakistan People's Party (PPP) chairman, Asif Ali Zardari has said that the government wanted to solve the Kashmir problem through dialogue.
The relation between the two countries-India and Pakistan started improving in April 2003 and the composite dialogue process boosted cooperation on fighting terrorism and re-establish diplomatic, transport and sporting relations. The composite dialogue process involving several issues comprising Jammu and Kashmir initiated in 2004.