Pakistan seeks resumption of peace talks with India: Qureshi

January 4th, 2009 - 5:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghIslamabad, Jan 4 (DPA) Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Sunday said his government wanted to revive the peace process with rival India which stalled after the Mumbai terror attacks.Qureshi said the “unfortunate” Nov 26 terrorist siege in India’s financial capital were a grave “setback” for improving ties between the two neighbours.

“Our foremost effort will be to end the pause (in the dialogue with India) and to move towards normal relations,” Qureshi told reporters during a visit to his hometown of Multan in Punjab province.

According to the foreign minister, the tense situation between the two nuclear-armed neighbours had defused considerably, especially after the intervention of international powers.

He also reminded the world that the south Asia region was in the grip of terrorism, stressing that a regional approach was needed to root out the menace.

Qureshi again offered Pakistan’s assistance in the Mumbai investigations, but repeated that his government would not hand over any suspects as “we do not have an extradition treaty with India”.

He spoke one day after Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he hoped Pakistan would hand over the alleged masterminds of the Mumbai carnage for trial in India.

Tensions flared between the two nations after the attacks which left at least 170 people dead.

India insists the Mumbai attackers were Pakistani nationals and trained by the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group and abetted by unnamed Pakistani agencies, and has demanded that Islamabad crack down on the group.

Islamabad denied the allegations, saying it yet awaited corroborating evidence.

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