ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's former envoy to China, Masood Khan, on Friday said India while accepting ground realities has shown seriousness towards the dialogue process with Pakistan.

“This is our moral victory as Pakistan always asked to resolve all outstanding issues through dialogue,” he said while talking to a private news channel.

He said that Pakistan had made several attempts recently to resume talks with India, which shows Pakistan's stance on the importance of dialogue to resolve all issues between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.

Masood Khan added that continuity of dialogue process was the only way to move forward.

"Pakistan and India are now fully aware of the reality that disputes could only be resolved through dialogue which is a positive notion," he said while expressing hope that dialogue would bring positive results.

Masood Khan said foreign secretaries of both countries will meet next month to set the agenda. The former ambassador stressed the need of increased people-to-people contacts between both countries to create an atmosphere of trust.

Read: Breakthrough at ‘Heart of Asia’: Pakistan, India to resume ‘comprehensive’ talks

Last week, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told parliament that war was not an option and dialogue is the way forward with Pakistan to fight the ‘shadow of terror’.

Swaraj had said Pakistan and India had decided to hold talks on terrorism when Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif and Narendra Modi met in Ufa, Russia, in July and then in Paris.

Breakthrough at ‘Heart of Asia’

In the meeting held between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and India's Swaraj on the sidelines of the 'Heart of Asia' conference earlier in December, the Indian minister had confirmed that the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting Pakistan next year.

Pakistan and India have also agreed to reinitiate a comprehensive dialogue process, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had said during a joint press conference along with the prime minister’s adviser on foreign affairs, Sartaj Aziz.

Both Swaraj and Aziz on the occasion had also condemned terrorism and resolved to cooperate in order to eliminate the menace.

The dialogue process, which will start as soon as foreign secretaries agree on a schedule, will include matters related to peace and security, Jammu and Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek, Wullar Barrage, Tulbul Navigation Project, economic and commercial cooperation, counter-terrorism, narcotics control and humanitarian issues, people to people exchanges and religious tourism.

Earlier, the opening of the ‘Heart of Asia’ conference in the capital was marked by a warm welcome from Pakistani authorities to visiting dignitaries from India, Afghanistan, China among other Asian countries.

Also read: Indian FM plans talks on improving relations

In her speech, Swaraj focused on increased connectivity, regional trade and openness with Afghanistan, and also "extended India’s hand towards Pakistan" in this regard.

The national security advisers of Pakistan and India met for a brief and unannounced meeting in Bangkok last week, which was followed up by an informal and short meeting between the prime ministers of Pakistan and India.


A velvet glove

A velvet glove

The general didn’t have an easy task when he took over, but in retrospect, he managed it rather well.


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