Pakistan on Thursday said it was looking for “forward movement” in the ongoing Foreign Secretary-level talks with India, hoping that the two countries would not get caught in the status quo mode.
“When you have long-standing issues, there is a great sense of responsibility with it and seriousness of approach.
Pakistan has had consistent stand that it is better to talk than not to talk,” Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani told reporters responding to questions on the Indo-Pak Foreign Secretary-level meeting in Islamabad.
“It is better to resolve long-standing issues rather than let those issues fester and become larger than life and affect development and peace of the region,” she said.
On the ongoing Indo-Pak talks here, Ms. Rabbani said “we are looking for forward movement and I think as long as we have some forward movement to report back which we had from Interior Ministers’ and other meetings so far, we should be somewhat happy with the outcome.
“What we don’t want is to get caught in the status quo mode where we just reiterate our positions. Hopefully, this meting will give us more confidence to move forward.”
When pointed out that there was a conflict over the issues of core concerns between the two countries with India calling terrorism as its prime concern and Pakistan sticking to Jammu and Kashmir, Ms. Rabbani said “both can meet if both agree that terrorism and Jammu and Kashmir are the core concerns.”
“If Kashmir is not core concern, then what is core concern?” Ms. Rabbani asked.
“Terrorism is not only the core concern for India and Pakistan, rather for Afghanistan and entire region,” she said. “We are willing to address our core concerns and the concerns of others.”
She advocated the need for moving away from the stated positions and adopting a pragmatic approach if the two sides want to talk like responsible neighbours who want to live in peace.