Zardari, Gilani satisfied with productive talks with India


ISLAMABAD – President Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday expressed satisfaction on the outcome of the recent meeting between Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh and hoped that joint efforts would pave the way for resolution of all outstanding issues between the two archrivals. The prime minister called on the president and briefed him on his one-day visit to Mohali for the Cricket World Cup semi-final between Pakistan and India, on the sidelines of which both prime ministers had an informal round of discussions on a host of issues. A source informed Pakistan Today that the prime minister told the president that he was expecting a “significant breakthrough” in the sour relations between the neighbouring states who have decades-old conflicts on terrorism, water, and Kashmir.
“The only concern for the Pakistani side was its failure in getting a joint declaration issued as the Indian side was reluctant doing so on the pretext that these talks were informal,” the source said, adding that a breakthrough was expected in other areas including trade and commerce – a longstanding demand of the Indians. During the meeting, Prime Minister Gilani briefed the president on his discussions with Congress Party leader Sonia Gandhi. Welcoming the development, the president called Gilani’s visit positive for regional peace and development and expressed hope that it would provide further impetus to the efforts for meaningful dialogue between the two countries on all outstanding issues.
President Zardari also praised Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for extending invitation to the Pakistani leadership to visit India. “Regular interactions at all levels will not only provide a solid platform for resolving our mutual issues but will also help to obviate and reduce misperceptions and mistrusts,” he said. The president cheered both the teams for providing an opportunity to the world to witness a good game of cricket. “Winning or losing is not really important in any game. What is important and appreciable is the sportsman spirit and effort of our boys in the field and the fact that the event provided an opportunity for the leadership of both countries to meet,” Zardari said.