ISLAMABAD–Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said on Sunday that Pakistan is hopeful of resumption of dialogue with arch-rival India after the recent visit of the Indian Foreign Secretary to Islamabad.
Talking to newsmen in Islamabad on Sunday, said all issues including longstanding Kashmir dispute will be discussed when the dialogue process resumed between the two countries.
The Advisor hoped that recent meeting between Foreign Secretaries of Pakistan and India will pave the way for talks on different issues.
He said there is a trust deficit between the two countries and when gradually the trust will restore, other things will also move forward.
Mr Aziz said he is confident that the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Mod,i will visit Pakistan next year.
“We are fully hopeful that the Indian Prime Minister will certainly come for the summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation in 2016,” he said.
He told reporters after a conference of the Muslim Think Tanks Forum of Islamic Countries that we are also hopeful that there would be some progress in the dialogue progress so that it should not be a formal visit and there should be some more talks.
He added that it is premature to say how the dialogue process will go forward and we will see the next step after the visit of the Indian Foreign Secretary.
Asked if the Indian Secretary would again come to Pakistan or Pakistani Secretary would go to India after the recent visit of Indian Foreign Secretary, Sartaj Aziz said the visit was with the reference f the SAARC however, bilateral issues were also discussed.
“Our foreign secretary would visit India whenever they invite us,” he said and emphasized that there should be progress and both sides should explore ways how to make progress on Confidence Building Measures (CBMs).
He viewed lack of trust between the two countries as a major issue and said there would be progress on other issues if trust is gradually restored. “This is a long journey and there would be progress if once the process is started.”
To a question about the civil-military relations, the adviser said there is a complete similarity and consistency in the civil and military leadership on issues.
To a question about the visit of the Chinese President, he said the Chinese President will visit Islamabad very soon. He however said the Chinese leader will not visit before March 23.
To another question if the government is in contact with the Afghan government about the handover of the Pakistani Taliban Chief, Maulvi Fazalullah, he said contacts are there and the media would now if there is any progress.
When asked about the visit of the Russian President, he said, Pakistan has extended invitation to the Russian President and the visit is expected in the coming months. He said that Pakistan and Russia will hold political level consultations in April.
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