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India, Pak must make determined efforts to steer talks: Zardari

Islamabad: President Asif Ali Zardari yesterday said Pakistan and India must make "determined efforts and maintain focus" to steer their dialogue process in a productive and result-oriented manner.

Zardari made the remarks during a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the margins of the Non Aligned Movement Summit in Tehran.

"We have covered a lot of ground but we still have to go a long way," Zardari was quoted as saying by state-run APP news agency.

He said it was "important to move beyond the reiteration of positions to more substantive results".

 India, Pak must make determined efforts to steer talks: Zardari

Pakistan is committed to pursuing the process of dialogue and engagement with India, Zardari said. PTI

Pakistan is committed to pursuing the process of dialogue and engagement with India, he said.

Zardari reiterated that Pakistan was keenly looking forward to Singh's visit to the country at an "early date".

Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, who is part of the President’s delegation, later described the meeting between the two leaders as "good".

She said: "There is ample proof that the political leadership of the two countries is committed to improving and normalising ties with each other."

Khar said Pakistan believes it is the right approach and the requirement of the times and the emerging regional situation to have better ties with all countries, particularly those in South Asia.

"It is important that we are able to move past the challenges of the past and move into a new era of cooperation and being able to resolve our disputes," she said.

The Foreign Ministers of the two countries are set to meet in Islamabad in September to review the second round of the dialogue process that resumed in 2011 after a gap of over two years following the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Foreign Minister Khar, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Pakistan People's Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna, India's Foreign Secretary and National Security Adviser were present during the meeting between Zardari and Singh.

This was the second meeting between Zardari and Singh this year. They last met at New Delhi when Zardari made a day-long private visit to India in April to pray at a Sufi shrine in Ajmer.

Zardari recalled that meeting and said he was deeply touched by the warm hospitality extended to him in New Delhi and Ajmer. He appreciated Singh's vision for a peaceful and prosperous South Asia.

Pakistan, he said, desires friendly, cooperative and good neighbourly relations with India as it has a deep interest in promoting peace and stability in the region.

South Asia has enormous potential and cooperation between the two countries is imperative to exploit this potential, he added.

The two leaders noted the substantive improvement in bilateral economic and trade relations and Zardari expressed satisfaction at the completion of the second round of the dialogue process.


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Updated Date: Aug 31, 2012 09:26:31 IST