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Pak hopes for dialogue process with India

By K J M Varma in Islamabad
July 18, 2006 02:00 IST
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Pakistan, under scanner after the deadly serial blasts in Mumbai that left about 200 dead, on Monday expressed the hope that the dialogue process with India would begin soon, maintaining that it was not involved in encouraging terrorism against its eastern neighhour.

In an interview to PTI, Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mohd Kasuri sought to emphasise that he has not linked the Mumbai blasts with non-resolution of the Kashmir issue.

Kasuri said Pakistan was fulfilling its "obligations" to honour commitments made by President Pervez Musharraf not to permit Pakistan soil to carry out acts of terrorism against India. "Pakistan is fulfilling its obligations", he said. Answering a question about Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's remarks that Pakistan should fulfill its commitments, Kasuri said Pakistan understands the importance of the commitment it made to India in the January 2004 Joint Statement. "There is no reason to doubt the commitment provided by Pakistan not to permit its territory to be used for terrorism against India", he added.

About allegations that Pakistan was maintaining terror camps, Kasuri, who is back from his trip to Washington, said his country had been receiving praise from the United States and European Union for its cooperation in the fight against terrorism. "If Pakistan is actually doing what India alleges, then US and EU countries are not stupid to pay us compliments knowing well that we are maintaining camps, even if not for Afghanistan but for Kashmir, because ultimately everything gets linked", he said. He also said several Indian leaders and officials have said that cross-border infiltration has come down. "I have about 20 statements with me", he said.

The Pakistan Foreign Minister said India has built multi-layer fencing and although Pakistan had initially opposed it but later "permitted" it during the course of the peace process to avoid allegations similar to the ones India is making. Kasuri, who was recently embroiled in the controversy over his "misreported" remarks linking resolution of Kashmir issue to Mumbai blasts, said the Indian reaction appeared as if "New Delhi" was waiting to "latch on" to something.

"I was addressing a gathering in US. India-Pak issues came up for discussion during which I was talking about the peace progress", he said adding some of those who reported put the two things together and his statements were taken out of context and different points linked together even though he had condemned the Mumbai bomb blasts in unequivocal terms.

Saying that he was "pained" about the way the spokesman of the Indian External Affairs Ministry reacted to his "misreported" comments, Kasuri said, "My fear is that they wanted a peg to hang their coat on and somehow to link Mumbai blasts to Pakistan. So they latched on to the statements", he said.

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K J M Varma in Islamabad
Source: PTI© Copyright 2022 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.