Pakistan to welcome Indian prime minister’s visit: Sartaj Aziz

Eurasia News

ISLAMABAD: The advisor to Prime Minister on foreign affairs and national security Sartaj Aziz said on Saturday Pakistan will welcome Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh if he wishes to visit Islamabad in the next few weeks, however he said that there is less possibility of his visit, Dispatch News Desk reported.

His statement came in response to a question regarding the Indian premier’s address in New Delhi on Friday, in which expressed the desire to visit Pakistan before the expiry of his tenure. The Indian prime minister said that his visit can result in a breakthrough in moving forward the dialogue process with Pakistan and resolving all outstanding issues.

In an interview on Saturday, the advisor said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had extended an invitation to the Indian counterpart to visit Pakistan.

The premier’s advisor said that back channel-talks are continuing with India on the issues of Kashmir‚ Sir Creek and Siachen. He, however, said that any breakthrough or forward movement on these issues could only be expected after the elections in India.

“It is our utmost effort to improve relations with India and a significant lobby there also cherishes the same dream,” he said.

Aziz said that though the composite dialogue is facing delay due to the elections in India but certain groups on trade‚ energy and visa are in negotiations with each other.

The advisor said that in the present circumstances when the India is heading towards elections‚ peace at the Line of Control (LoC) and continuation of talks is necessary to avoid any tension in bilateral relations.

When asked about Kashmir dispute‚ the advisor said that it is a very important issue and its resolution is imperative for improvement of Pakistan-India relations. He said several countries have realized the importance of peace between the two countries and are now evincing interest in Kashmir dispute.