Asserting that both India and Pakistan should show flexibility, courage and determination to resolve the Kashmir problem, Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has said that progress in economic cooperation must move in tandem with improvement in settling political issues.
The Pakistan Prime Minister also proposed an 8-point strategy to restore peace in Asia, which included the peaceful settlement of all issues, avoiding arms race and promoting intra-regional trade and investment.
"We have been engaged in strenuous efforts to resolve regional disputes and security issues with India in order to facilitate greater cooperation with neighbouring states," he said at a dinner hosted for delegates of the executive council meeting of Association of Asian Parliaments for Peace in Islamabad in Monday night.
Aziz said these endeavours have led to the reduction of tension and improvement in the prospects for a lasting peace in the region.
"We believe that this dialogue process should be irreversible and every effort must be made to find a just and durable resolution of the Kashmir dispute that is acceptable to all three stakeholders -- Pakistan, India and the Kashmiri people," Aziz said.
"To achieve this, we must demonstrate courage, determination and flexibility. We recognise that progress in economic cooperation must move in tandem with progress on political disputes," the he added.
Proposing the 8-point strategy to restore peace in Asia, Aziz said Asian states should carry out a substantive dialogue for peaceful settlement of all existing disputes and evolve a mechanism to address issues in the future on bilateral and multilateral basis.
As part of the strategy, the states should follow strategic restraint in matters of defence to avoid an arms race, promote intra-regional trade and encourage investment among Asian nations.
The proposed strategy also included creation of corridors for cooperation through multi-sectoral linkages, sharing best practices, ensuring collective progress on structural reforms, developing harmonious societies by redressing inequities among countries and sub-regions of Asia, encouraging scientific research, and development by utilising new technologies.
Aziz claimed that Pakistan's commitment to combat terrorism was firm and unwavering, but at the same time called for adopting a holistic approach to address the root causes of the menace.
"We have been engaged in counter-terrorism cooperations with the international community much before 9/11," he said, adding, "that there can be no justification for terrorism but we are opposed to any attempt that seeks to draw a linkage between terrorism and Islam or a particular country. Terrorism has no religion and is a universal scourge."