Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pak presents proposals to defuse Indo-Pak tension

Pak presents proposals to defuse Indo-Pak tension
Updated at: 1710 PST, Tuesday, December 30, 2008 
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Tuesday said there was a "positive" development in its relations with India during last 48 hours, and reiterated its stance to cooperate on joint investigation into Mumbai incident.

"Pakistan considers the development [with India] in last 48 hours as 'positive and welcoming'," Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said in his policy statement he read out at Foreign Office here.

He recommended India to de-activate its forward air bases and put ground forces to peacetime locations, to resume friendly atmosphere between the two neighbouring countries.

He said if India considers these suggestions, it would prove helpful in diffusing the ongoing tense situation between the two countries.

Qureshi said the statement of Indian External Affairs Minister, Pranab Mukherjee regarding joint investigation into Mumbai incident also supported Pakistan's stance, as he admitted of not providing evidence to Pakistan so far.

Of another positive development, Qureshi said that Mukherjee also categorically stated that India did not give ultimatum to Pakistan. He said Pakistan believes that ultimatums do not help improve relations between the countries.

The Foreign Minister said Pakistan's approach was positive from the day one and it stands by its commitment to cooperate into the investigation whenever evidence was provided.

"I reiterate that Pakistan wants to cooperate and has a positive approach," he said.

Qureshi also termed positive recent developments including the direct contact between the DGMOs of Pakistan and India, and the telephonic conversation between President Asif Ali Zardari and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

The Foreign Minister said Pakistan was also thankful to China for its efforts to de-escalate tension between Pakistan and India.

Qureshi stressed the need for using direct contacts and diplomatic channels for improving the ties and said the importance of dialogue should not be overruled.

The Foreign Minister said coercions and pressures would only benefit the powers involved in Mumbai incident that tried to dismantle peace between the two countries and also in the region.

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