Pakistan committed to friendly ties with India: Minister

January 5th, 2009 - 1:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Jan 5 (IANS) Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that Pakistan remains committed to maintaining friendly ties with all neighbouring countries, including India, and seeks a regional approach to tackle terrorism so as to stop the recurrence of Mumbai-like incidents, a media report said.The News daily quoted Qureshi saying in his hometown Multan: “The Mumbai attack was a big incident, which caused great damage and we need to get to the bottom of it to carve out a strategy so that such incidents do not recur.”

The foreign minister said: “We all face the problem of terrorism and need to tackle the menace through a joint struggle.”

He said Pakistan was pursuing a policy of maintaining friendly ties with all neighbouring countries - Iran, Afghanistan, China and India. Friendly ties with India were in the interest of Pakistan and would ensure stability in the region, he added.

When asked whether Pakistan would revise its list of friends, keeping in view the Indian attitude, the foreign minister said: “The list of friends does not change overnight.”

He said the Mumbai attacks brought the composite dialogue process between India and Pakistan to a pause but Pakistan was trying to ease the stress.

Qureshi said the situation was improving and tension had defused to some extent. He gave the credit for this to the efforts Pakistan made, suggestions it put forward, and the role played by some important countries.

He, however, added that it would be unwise to suggest that everything was all right.

“The problem still exists and we need to get to the bottom of it to stop the recurrence of Mumbai-like incidents,” he said.

Replying to a question, the minister said Pakistan’s stance on the Kashmir issue remains unchanged.

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