Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has lauded his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh, describing him as a “genuine person” keen to resolve all bilateral issues.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is a “genuine person” who is desirous of resolving all issues with Pakistan, including the “core issue of Kashmir”, Mr. Gilani told reporters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum at Davos in Switzerland.
When Mr. Gilani was asked by an Indian journalist about the possibility of another Mumbai-style attack, he replied: “Ifs and when do not make a story. We see Pakistan as a factor of peace, stability and development in the region,” Mr. Gilani said .
Pakistan desires good relations with all its neighbours and if New Delhi has any information about terrorist activities, it can be shared with Islamabad, he said.
The Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba was blamed for the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai that killed 166 people. Pakistani authorities arrested seven suspects, including LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, on charges of involvement in the attacks but their trial has stalled for over a year due to technical reasons.
Noting that Pakistan had resumed its dialogue with India, Mr. Gilani mentioned his visit to Mohali last year to watch the Cricket World Cup semi-final at the invitation of Mr. Singh.
“We are in the process of normalising trade relations with India, which will benefit the people of both countries.”
Mr. Gilani further said that Pakistan attaches importance to its relations with Afghanistan.
No chance of coup
Mr. Gilani said there was “no chance” of a military coup in Pakistan ever as all stakeholders including the Army, desires democracy and stability.
No state institution, including the military, or the people of Pakistan want a coup and all stakeholders favour a democracy, he said.
Mr. Gilani's remarks came against the backdrop of the worst political crisis endured by his nearly four-year-old government — a stand off with the military over an alleged memo that had sought U.S. help to prevent a possible coup after the killing of Osama bin Laden last year.
Mr. Gilani also spoke on a host of other issues, including Pakistan-U.S. ties following the cross-border NATO air strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November last year. He described the incident as a “turning point” in ties that created a “bad taste”.
Even before the NATO attack, there were a number of other incidents that had strained ties between the two countries.