Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pakistan for normalization of ties with India: Kasuri

IRNA

Islamabad, Nov 11, IRNA - Pakistan`s Foreign Minister Khurshid 
Mahmood Kasuri said on Tuesday that Pakistan wants normalization of 
relations with India but New Delhi will have to shed its "double 
standards". 
Addressing a news conference in Islamabad after his tour of 
European countries, the foreign minister said in order to march 
toward peace, both countries have to rise above minor things and 
take solid steps to initiate dialogue to resolve all outstanding 
problems including Kashmir. 
He referred to Indian prime minister`s confidence building 
measures announced in Srinagar and said "Pakistan is more keen to 
hold dialogue as Prime Minister Jamali reciprocated these confidence 
building measures with nine proposals. 
Replying to a question about Indian allegation of cross-border 
terrorism, he alleged that the Indian leaders have been changing 
their stance over the issue time and again for "obvious reasons". 
"Indian leadership talks about negotiations with Pakistan just 
to release international pressure for holding dialogue with Pakistan 
and to capture Muslim votes in elections for state assemblies," he 
added. 
Regarding Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service, Kasuri said Pakistan 
intends to encourage contacts between the people of both parts of 
Kashmir. "But as Kashmir is a disputed territory, we will have to 
work out modalities for this purpose." 
According to the official, India does not support people-to-people
contacts saying, "It does not happen when Pakistani people want to 
visit India and recently they refused visas to our journalists to 
cover SAARC Information Ministers Conference". 
He said Pakistan has always welcomed Indian people during their 
visit to the country. 
Turning to his tour of European countries, the foreign minister 
said he had fruitful and positive discussions with the leaders of 
European countries including Spain, Britain, Belgium and officials 
of the European Union. 
Kasuri said he discussed with the European leaders matters 
regarding Pakistani humanitarian assistance to Iraqi people, 
Afghan problem, Kashmir issue, democratic process especially the 
women and minorities` representation in the parliament and the idea 
of enlightened moderation. 
He said during his meeting with British Foreign Secretary Jack 
Straw, he told him that Indian offer of confidence building measures 
was not enough without initiating dialogue on Kashmir issue. 
He informed the foreign secretary that a method has to be found 
to address Kashmiris` aspirations for durable peace in South Asia. 
According to Kasuri, the United Kingdom appreciated Pakistani 
efforts in war against terrorism. 
Kasuri said he also discussed the status of the Third 
Generation Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the European 
Commission and urged it to ratify the agreement at the earliest 
which will also be beneficial for the Commission. 
"Though Pakistan is enjoying economic benefits from the European 
Union but with the ratification of this agreement our exports to EU 
will rise up-to 22 per cent and Pakistan will get more concessions 
for its exports." 
He said a high level EU troika delegation comprising its 
Foreign Policy chief Javier Solana and Irish Foreign Minister will 
visit Pakistan early next year. "The Spanish Foreign Minister will 
also visit Pakistan shortly." 
The European Union has decided to keep the broad-based 
EU-Pakistan cooperation agreement blocked. 
EU Rapporteur John Walls Cushnahan last Friday said that serious 
incidents make it extremely difficult to make progress on the 
approval of the Third Generation Trade and Cooperation Agreement 
with Pakistan. 
A statement by Cushnahan said that the arrest of Javed Hashmi, 
leader of the parliamentary opposition, calls in to question the 
extent to which there is any real transfer of power from the military 
to the civilian administration. 
Hashmi`s arrest coincided with the visit of an EU team which 
was here for few days to study transition and democratic reforms in 
Pakistan. 
Commonwealth has also linked restoration of Pakistan`s 
membership with resolution of Legal Framework Order tangle, a 
package of constitutional amendments, introduced by President 
Pervez Musharraf. 
Responding to a question about Pakistan`s re-entry into 
Commonwealth, the foreign minister said Islamabad has very good 
relations with the Commonwealth and hopes to re-enter it sooner. 
To another question he said he also talked to the British 
foreign secretary on the issue of bugging of Pakistan High 
Commission in London. 
"Our High Commissioner has been directed to have further talks 
with British authorities to sort out the issue," he added. 
TK/TSH/213 
End 



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