Pakistan sees ‘positive’ development in ties with India

December 30th, 2008 - 9:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Dec 30 (IANS) Pakistan Tuesday said there were “positive” developments in its relations with India during the last 48 hours amid reports that the United States has backed Islamabad’s demand for “concrete evidence” before taking action against the Mumbai attack suspects New Delhi has named.Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in a policy statement issued Tuesday reiterated his stance on cooperating on a joint investigation into the Mumbai incidents.

“Pakistan considers the development in last 48 hours as positive and welcoming,” Qureshi said, adding: “I reiterate that Pakistan wants to cooperate and has a positive approach.”

Officials here also see the release of 67 Pakistani prisoners by India as a positive development that would help build confidence at the people-to-people level. There are expectations that Islamabad will reciprocate by releasing some of the Indian fishermen who are in Karachi jail.

A senior official, meanwhile, said that the US had shared the Indian view of launching “surgical strikes” inside Pakistan “but they were clearly told that Islamabad will never tolerate it and would retaliate with full force”.

“We are glad that the United States understood our point and conveyed it positively to New Delhi, after which the situation started normalizing,” the official added.

The foreign minister said the meetings of Pakistan’s officials in Washington had also helped promote the country’s point of view.

One other positive development, Qureshi said, was that Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee had categorically stated that New Delhi had not given any ultimatum to Pakistan, adding ultimatums do not help improve relations between countries.

Qureshi also termed as positive the unscheduled telephonic conversation sunday between the directors general of military operations of Pakistan and India, and the telephonic conversation between President Asif Ali Zardari and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

In a related development, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff committee, General Tariq Majeed, called on Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and briefed him about the prevailing security situation in the region.

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