“Pakistan committed to continuing the dialogue process”

Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Monday said the attack on the naval base in Karachi was al-Qaeda's reply to the killing of Osama bin Laden.

In an informal chat with The Hindu on the sidelines of the two-day International Conference on Kashmir here, Mr. Gilani said: “We are aware about this situation [reprisal attacks] and the challenges thereof.” However, he said: “Let us wait for the investigations which can lead us to a conclusion.”

He denied that such incidents would have an adverse impact on the ongoing dialogue process between India and Pakistan. “Unless there is involvement from that side, I do not think it has anything to do with the dialogue process.”

Reiterating that Pakistan government was committed to continuing the dialogue process with a “sincere approach,” he said: “We have moved forward in Thimphu and we went ahead with that in Mohali. I had discussions with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi and I think atmosphere was not adverse.”

On the list of 50 wanted persons furnished by India, he said: “We have told them we are ready to help but you know that two people have already surfaced in India so you should yourself determine the credibility of the list.”

Mr. Gilani said that it was wrong to assume that India-Pakistan dialogue process would face problems as there was no full-fledged Foreign Minister in Pakistan. “Leave that to us. I hold the charge of Foreign Minister,” he said responding to concerns of New Delhi about not having a Foreign Minister in Pakistan.

He said that on many fronts the process was on and from “our side there will be no problem.”