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Updated: February 19, 2010 11:12 IST

‘Resumption of talks with India a positive step’

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Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. File photo
AP
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. File photo

India’s decision to resume talks with Pakistan was a “positive step”, said Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, but he added that the outcome of the talks depends on the Indian response.

“We are ready for meaningful engagement with India,” he told a press conference Thursday in Brussels at the sidelines of an international security conference, EuAsiaNews reported.

“We would want to discuss all issues that have strained our relations over the years,” said Mr. Qureshi, adding: “If we do not recognise those issues then the dialogue will not be meaningful”.

“It depends on the kind of response and mindset of India,” he said. “If they are open minded, if they are constructive then this engagement would lead to other favourable developments, but if they have their mind shut I do not see a meaningful forward movement.”

Mr. Qureshi said he is sending the Pakistani foreign secretary to New Delhi Feb 25 for the talks.

He said the water issue was a “very sensitive issue” for Pakistan and he intends to raise the matter with India very soon.

However, he stressed that it “would be not to blame India” for the water problem saying that Pakistan should utilise its share of water in a more efficient way.

Mr. Qureshi was the keynote speaker at the seventh worldwide security conference organised by the EastWest Institute in the Belgian capital Thursday.

He held talks with EU and NATO officials during his three-day visit to Brussels and also inaugurated a two-day conference of Pakistani ambassadors to Europe with the aim to enhance Pakistan-EU cooperation.

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