ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday said that Pakistan had abiding interest in the promotion of regional peace and stability, which would only enable the people of the region to exploit enormous opportunities available in South Asia.
During his meeting with S. M. Krishna, Indian External Affairs Minister, here at Aiwan-e-Sadr, the President said that finding amicable and just solutions to resolve outstanding issues was important for Pakistan and India to ensure lasting peace and stability in the region.
Briefing about the meeting, Spokesperson for the President Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the President emphasized that it was time for the two countries to move beyond reiteration of their positions to more substantive results.
He said that showing greater understanding of each others' concerns and sensitivities would help in solutions of the mutual issues.
The President reiterated his call for the two countries to make determined efforts for friendly, cooperative and good neighbourly relations, treading the path of productive and result- oriented dialogue.
He stressed the need for exchange of visits of businessmen and entrepreneurs of the two countries to enhance bilateral trade.
He said that multifaceted cooperation between the two countries was imperative for the socio-economic development of the people and to cope with the common challenge of terrorism.
He said that terrorism was a common enemy afflicting both the countries.
Calling for the need to fight the menace jointly, the President said that Pakistan stood resolute to fight it till it was finished.
The President also said that the two countries must not allow the derailment of normalization process. In this regard, he also suggested reviving the Anti-Terrorism Mechanism comprising representatives of Foreign Office, Home/Interior and intelligence agencies of the two countries.
He said that the frequent interactions of the leadership of the two countries would help providing impetus to the efforts for ensuring peace and creating better understanding on various issues.
We have great respect for Mrs. Sonia Gandhi and hold Dr Manmohan Singh in high esteem, he said and appreciated the Indian Prime Minister's vision for peace in South Asia.
The Indian Minister thanked the President for meeting and conveyed best wishes of the Indian leadership and people for the government and the people of Pakistan.
He said that his country desired good relations with Pakistan and wanted to work together in coping with the common challenges and issues.
Those present during the meeting from the Indian side included Ranjan Mathai, Foregin Secretary, Sharat Sabharwal, Indian High Commissioner, Raghavendra Shastry, Advisor to External Affairs Minister, Y.K. Sinha and Syed Akbaruddin.
Foreign Minister Ms Hina Rabbani Khar, Secretary General M Salman Faruqui, Spokesperson to the President Senator Farhatullah Babar, Senator Sughra Imam, Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani, Pak High Commissioner to India Salman Bashir and Asif Durrani were present from the Pakistan side.