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Yousuf Raza Gilani—File Photo
Yousuf Raza Gilani. — File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister and PPP Senior Vice Chairman Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on Saturday said that normalisation of relations between India and Pakistan held the key to peace and prosperity of the millions of poverty stricken people of the two countries.

Gilani, in a statement while commenting on the recently concluded successful visit of a Pakistani parliamentary delegation to India, said that such visits were of paramount importance to build bridges between the people on sustainable basis encompassing mutual respect and mutual interest.

He recalled the interview of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah with a foreign correspondent, in which he had said that the relations between Pakistan and India would be like the ties between Canada and the US normalisation of relations does not mean compromising the stated position on core issues of Kashmir, the former prime minister said.

He said that the setback to the peace process inflicted by the Mumbai attack was rectified when he met Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at Sharmul Shaikh, Egypt, on the sidelines of the NAM Summit, where the two sides agreed to resume the peace process, clearly implying that the terrorists would not be allowed to make the dialogue process hostage. It was a heart-warming breakthrough for the two countries, he added.

He said that his meetings at Thimpu, Bhutan, and the Maldives on the sidelines of SAARC summits further built up the trust between the two countries, leading to a number of confidence building measures in the intermediary period.

Gilani recalled his meeting with his Indian counterpart in the Maldives where at a joint press stakeout the Indian Prime Minister made his reaffirmation in no uncertain terms that both the sides had agreed “to settle long-standing issues through negotiations, including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir.”

Manmohan Singh also described Gilani as a man of peace.

He said that Prime Minister Manmohin Singh was sincere in normalization of relations between Pakistan and India.

He said that after the nuclearisation of both countries, the balance of power in the region had been restored and the option of war as a means to settle the issues between them was no more relevant.

The former prime minister said that it was his vision to increase trade between the two countries to their full potential and the pace of momentum in that regard was accelerated during his tenure.

The Indian government's decision to allow Pakistani investors to invest in that country and also permission to buy shares in their stock market, including opening of bank branches by the respective countries, were a significant development and dividends of the same policy, he said and added that as per the decision of a Cabinet meeting, chaired by him, the negative list would wither away way by December this year.

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Comments (8) Closed

Dr V. C. Bhutani
Aug 25, 2012 11:40am
Whether between individuals or between nations, good relations are based on good behaviour on both sides. It is good to recognize that India-Pakistan relations should normalize. But what are the two countries doing to bring that about? My observation is that whenever India-Pakistan relations seem to show propspect of improvement, a terrorist outfit based in Pakistan does a mischievous thing in India and derails the idea of improvement of relations. Pakistan needs to abolish terror from its repertoire of means and measures in furtherance of its policy. If this is not done and terrorists are left free to go on operating as at present, there is no hope of good India-Pakistan relations. V. C. Bhutani, Delhi, India, 25 Aug 2012, 1710 IST
Dr satpal Jabbal
Aug 25, 2012 11:32am
Who listnes to him now ?
Malik Shah Fahad
Aug 25, 2012 12:39pm
He has no worth now in his sayings..
Aug 25, 2012 10:56pm
this guy is worth less and a joke with no respect.
Malik Shah Fahad
Aug 25, 2012 12:41pm
What he did with democracy?????????
Aug 25, 2012 04:38pm
It needs change of attitude, mentality and that would happen in India only if terrorism stops bombing trains and places in India.
Aug 25, 2012 01:04pm
Self Glorification
Aug 25, 2012 02:13pm
Normalisation will remain a mirage till Pakistan punishes the perpetrators of attack on Bombay.