ISLAMABAD: Ahead of Foreign Minister, Mr S M Krishna’s visit here, Pakistan on Tuesday said it has taken “bold and unprecedented” steps to improve ties with “vital neighbour” India and to resolve all bilateral disputes, including the key issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
“As a democratic government, we have taken bold and unprecedented decisions. Granting the Most Favoured Nation status by Pakistan to India has injected a new momentum into the Pakistan-India normalisation process,” Pakistan Foreign Minister, Ms Hina Rabbani Khar said.
“This process should create a better relationship. And we believe that a better and deeper relationship will eventually lead us to ways and means to resolve all bilateral disputes, including the most important of all, the status of Jammu and Kashmir,” she said.
Describing India as a “vital neighbour” for Pakistan, Ms Khar said during a speech at the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin that history would bear witness to the “level of effort exerted” by the current government in Islamabad to normalise relations between the two countries.
However, Ms Khar said there is “only one eventual resolution” to the Kashmir problem, which has been “clearly articulated by the UN Security Council”.
The Kashmiri right to self-determination, she contended, is an “agreed principle of international politics for over fifty years”.
“We believe that a greater depth to the Pakistan-India relationship will help lead us to the resolution (of the Kashmir issue),” she said.
Ms Khar’s remarks came four days ahead of her meeting in Islamabad with Mr Krishna to review the last round of the talks process between the two countries.
Mr Krishna will hold talks with Ms Khar on September 8, and their talks will be preceded by a meeting of the Foreign Secretaries of the two countries on September 7.
The two ministers will also co-chair a meeting of the India-Pakistan Joint Commission. The commission was revived in 2005 after a gap of 16 years and it held meetings in 2006 and 2007.
India and Pakistan resumed their peace process last year, after a gap of over two years in the aftermath of the 2008 Mumbai attacks that were blamed on the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba.