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Pak PM speaks to Manmohan Singh

Source: PTI
May 29, 2004 21:40 IST
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In the first contact between them, Pakistan Premier Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali on Saturday spoke to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the two leaders agreed that both countries are committed to sustain the momentum in bilateral relations.

During the telephonic conversation in which Jamali congratulated Singh on his assumption of office, they noted that the recent cricket matches and other exchanges have shown the desire of the people for friendly relations and stressed 'we should respond to this popular will', official sources in Delhi said.

They expressed satisfaction with the status of the dialogue process.

Jamali's call comes close on the heels of President Gen Pervez Musharraf speaking to Singh as well as Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.

An official statement in Islamabad quoted Jamali as saying that Pakistan sincerely believed that peace and tension-free relations are important for the prosperity and progress of both the countries.

Stressing that the leaderships of both the countries have to play a vital role in overcoming hurdles that may come during the process, Jamali said peace is the need and desire of the people of both countries.

Pakistan is looking forward to an early resumption of Foreign Secretary-level talks so that the process of dialogue could move forward.

Referring to economic reforms initiated by Singh in 90s, the Pakistani prime minister hoped that India would progress under his able stewardship in the years to come.

For his part Singh thanked Jamali for his letter of felicitation and said his government would move forward with a positive approach for improvement of relations. 

"We should continue to move forward with confidence building measures as this would facilitate and pave the way for discussions on Kashmir," the statement quoted the Indian prime minister as saying.

Singh also appreciated Pakistan's unilateral decision of cease-fire along the Line of Control, which he said has augured well. "We should continue this" as it helps in creating an atmosphere for purposeful dialogues, he said.

He also appreciated Jamali's interest in sports and emphasised the importance of continuing sporting contacts between the two countries.

Jamali also conveyed his greetings and good wishes for Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, the statement said.
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