India and Pakistan resolve to fight terrorism, strengthen economic ties

May 21st, 2008 - 10:16 pm ICT by admin  

Benazir Bhutto

By Naveen Kapoor

Islamabad, May 21 (ANI): The fourth round of Composite Dialogue between India and Pakistan ended on Wednesday, with both countries agreeing that that they had made a significant progress and had signed a pact on giving consular access to prisoners.

The two sides also reported progress on Siachen and Sir Creek issues and expressed willingness to push forward the confidence building measures, including those related to Jammu and Kashmir.

The two sides signed an agreement for consular access to prisoners with a desire to address this humanitarian issue.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said, We made a lot of progress in our interaction and we hope to maintain this in the next round of talks which is expected in mid-July.

Addressing a joint press conference with his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee, Qureshi said that talks are progressing in a constructive manner on the issue of Kashmir.

Calling for greater reconciliation with India, he said that India-Pakistan relations are back on track, and added that Kashmir issue should be resolved in accordance of the UN resolution and will of the Kashmiri people.

Qureshi further said that his government is open to any innovative ideas in resolving the longstanding dispute.

Although no new Confidence Building Measures were signed, but both the neighbours decided to finalise modalities for intra Kashmir trade and truck service and increase in frequency of Muzaffarabad-Srinagar bus service.

Both India and Pakistan agreed that the CBMs have augured well for Kashmiris living on both sides of the border. Pranab Mukherjee asked for expanding the economic base.

Talking to press after the conclusion of talks, Indian External Affairs Minister expressed optimism over strengthening trade ties with Pakistan, and cited example of China and mentioned that despite boundary disputes Indo-Sino trade will reach 60 billion dollars by 2010.

Describing terrorism as a common menace, Pakistan agreed to fight it jointly with India and gave a commitment for maintaining ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC).

Qureshi once again condemned the Jaipur blasts and offered condolences to the blast victims.

Referring to former premier Benazir Bhuttos assassination, he reiterated that his party (PPP) has lost a great leader due to terrorism. (ANI)

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