SAFMA marks SAARC’s silver jubilee with a seminar


LAHORE – The South Asia Free Media Association (SAFMA) held a seminar on Thursday to mark the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation’s (SAARC) silver jubilee.
Former foreign minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri said that during former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf’s government, talks with India were going in the right direction. The Sir Creek issue was about to be resolved but the 2008 general elections changed the entire scenario.
He said those people who think Indo-Pak relations could not be improved were wrong because 2011 would be a year in which a geographical change was expected and even the US now wanted the two neighbouring countries to resolve their conflicts and Washington wanted to act as a peace mediator. Kasuri said that If India wanted to attain a major global status then it must resolve its issues with all its neighbouring countries.
The former foreign minister said that during Kasmir resolution talks, a couple of important things came up. He said that Pakistan had made it clear that while it was ready to work on facilities needed by Kashmiris, especially the need to travel wherever they wanted, Islamabad did not approve of any interference regarding their relations with China.
Kasuri said that whoever thought the army was a hindrance in the improvement of relations with India was wrong because in reality the army had helped a lot with strategic relations with India. Senior analysts Dr Mehdi Hasan and Khaled Ahmed and SAFMA General Secretary Imtiaz Alam also spoke on the occasion.