Mohali meeting a ‘win-win’ event, says Pakistan

Pakistan on Thursday described the Mohali round of “cricket diplomacy” as a “win-win” situation for the India-Pakistan process of engagement and maintained that third-party intervention was not needed.

Guarded optimism

Striking a note of guarded optimism over the bonhomie between the two countries over the past week, Foreign Office spokesperson Tehmina Janjua said, “We do not underestimate the difficulties but have faith and confidence in a bright future for the peoples of our region.”

Briefing reporters a day after the Indian and Pakistan Prime Ministers spent several hours together in the informal setting of the Mohali cricket ground, Ms. Janjua said, “Prime Minister Gilani said both Pakistan and India, as two important states in South Asia, must endeavour to take ownership for their affairs.”

Asked if the U.S. Embassy's congratulatory message to the two countries on Wednesday night for “cricket diplomacy” was an indication of a Washington-push for bilateral talks between the two nations, the spokesperson drew attention to the Prime Minister's stress on India and Pakistan taking ownership of their affairs.

“We do not need a third country for us to take ownership of our own affairs,” she said.

As to what was different in this thaw in bilateral relations, Ms. Janjua borrowed a phrase from Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao's Mohali press conference; stating that cricket diplomacy had “provided further impetus to the engagement.”

Also, according to her, “both countries have decided and there is commitment on the part of the leadership, which gives us hope of serious engagement between the two countries to find solutions to all outstanding issues.”

Stating that the issue of Jammu and Kashmir would be discussed at the next Foreign Secretary-level meeting, she said Mr. Gilani told Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that Pakistan wanted to move towards a comprehensive and broad-ranging engagement with India on the basis of equality, mutual trust, mutual interest and mutual respect.

To a question on how Pakistan agreed to a judicial commission from India given that the Foreign Office till now had contended that domestic laws do not provide for such a visit, the spokesperson said the principles of “comity and reciprocity” were invoked to accommodate New Delhi's request.

The Indian commission, she added, would speak to the investigators dealing with the Mumbai terror attack.

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Printable version | Jul 10, 2020 10:41:45 PM |

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