Better Indo-Pak ties crucial for Afghan peace: British PM


British Prime Minister David Cameron praised India and Pakistan for taking the initiative to resume bilateral talks to improve relations and urged them to play a crucial role in bringing peace to war-torn Afghanistan.

The British leader said that better Indo-Pak relations are a cornerstone for regional peace and prosperity.

“India and Pakistan can play a crucial role in bringing peace back in Afghanistan,” Cameron told Asian Lite newspaper during his visit to Siemens factory at Lincoln in East England. “Both countries should recognise the fact that a stable, prosperous and democratic Afghanistan is in their interests too.”

NATO forces are scheduled to withdraw from Afghanistan by 2014. Western leaders are hoping that regional powers, India and Pakistan, will play a crucial role in bringing back stability to the war ravaged nation.

“The newly elected Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is an experienced politician and he believes India and Pakistan can have better bilateral relations. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh takes a similar view,” Cameron added. “I hope these two statesmen can act in the interests of both their countries and also the world, fostering better Indo- Pak relations.”

Pakistan and India have agreed to draw up a calendar of official-level meetings to resume bilateral peace talks, which lost momentum due to the Pakistani elections in May.

The new initiative was announced after a meeting between Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and Pakistan Prime Minister’s Special Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on the sidelines of ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet at Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei, the first high-level meeting after the new government in Pakistan took over.