Pakistan confident on peace talks progress with India
Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Wednesday that it was possible to make concrete progress in peace talks with arch-rival India.
Speaking after talks with his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee, Qureshi asserted Islamabad wanted "friendly relations" with New Delhi and that the two sides had a "window of opportunity" to energise a slow-moving peace process.
"I want friendly relations with India. The region has suffered, people have suffered. We must give the people of South Asia some hope," he said in a joint news conference.
"We have this window of opportunity, We must not let it pass. We have challenges... but I am confident we can convert challenges into opportunities."
He said issues such as demarcating a maritime boundary and bringing down troop levels on the Siachen glacier, situated in the far north of disputed Kashmir and the world's highest battlefield, were "solvable."
India and Pakistan began a peace process in 2004, but ties were severely disrupted by the July bombing of India's embassy in Kabul blamed by New Delhi on Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency.
At the time, India said the peace process was "under stress."
But Mukherjee appeared more upbeat Wednesday, citing "substantial achievements" in recent contacts between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.
"We have to address the menace of terrorism, which affects society in both countries," Mukherjee told reporters, adding he hoped a recently established anti-terror cooperation panel would "show concrete results."