Talks only way to improve Pakistan, India ties: Gilani

July 26th, 2011 - 12:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Yousuf Raza Gilani Islamabad, July 26 (IANS) Talks are the only way to improve ties with India, Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said ahead of talks between the foreign ministers of the two countries.

Gilani told mediapersons here that Pakistan wanted cordial relations with neighbouring countries — Iran, Afghanistan and India.

Gilani made the remark Monday, when Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir reached New Delhi to hold discussions with his Indian counterpart Nirupama Rao on a wide range of bilateral issues with a view to firming up the agenda for talks between Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna Wednesday.

Khar, Pakistan’s first woman foreign minister and the youngest to occupy the post, reaches New Delhi Tuesday.

Gilani said the visit of the foreign minister would provide an opportunity to the two countries to move forward with the process of negotiations.

“In earlier talks, we discussed all core issues including Kashmir,” he said.

Gilani said he had held meetings with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to improve relations with both the countries, reported Associated Press of Pakistan.

The prime minister said in the past negotiations were stalled with India but talks were the only way forward.

He described the recent rounds of secretary level talks with India as a positive development.

Calling Manmohan Singh a respectable person, Gilani said he wanted that bilateral ties with Pakistan should improve.

He said the two countries were tackling issues of poverty, unemployment and price hike and needed to invest more in the health and education sectors.

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