Gilani hopes Pakistan-India dialogue will resume soon

April 22nd, 2010 - 9:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Yousuf Raza Gilani Islamabad, April 22 (IANS) Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani Thursday reciprocated the good wishes conveyed to him by senior Indian leaders and hoped that the stalled sub-continental dialogue would soon resume.
Gilani made the remarks during a meeting with Population Welfare Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan, who has just returned from India after attending the Shoaib Akhtar-Sania Mirza wedding.

Awan also apprised the prime minister of her meetings with Indian leaders, including Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi and Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, Online news agency reported.

During her meeting with Awan, Sonia Gandhi sent her felicitations to President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani and the people of Pakistan on the passage of the 18th constitutional amendment bill, which strips the president of his sweeping powers and removes changes made to the constitution by military dictators.

Gandhi lauded the Bhutto family’s sacrifices for democracy and appreciated Gilani’s reconciliatory policy to bring political stability to Pakistan.

“While reciprocating the goodwill gesture of the Indian politicians, the prime minister hoped for the early resumption of the bilateral dialogue between the two countries,” said a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s media office.

Firdous Awan told Gilani that the formation of a Friendship Forum, especially a Women Parliamentarians Forum, was discussed in her meetings with lawmakers in New Delhi to bring both countries closer.

The Indian leaders stressed the need for people-to-people contacts and free bilateral trade. They also discussed proposals for socio-cultural heritage exchanges through ministries and youth of both countries, she said.

On Thursday, Barely a week ahead of a likely meeting between Indian and Pakistani leaders in Bhutan, the Indian government reminded Islamabad to take action against 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed and stressed that although the door for dialogue was never closed, it would depend on effective action against terror.

“The government has repeatedly requested Pakistan, including in the recent meeting between foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan held in New Delhi on Feb 25, to act in an expeditious and transparent manner against all those responsible for the Mumbai terrorist attack, including Hafiz Saeed,” External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna told the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian parliament.

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