ISLAMABAD - Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi says dialogue is the only option to resolve all outstanding issues between India and Pakistan.
Responding to a call attention notice in Senate, the Minister said the Prime Minister immediately after assuming power offered India to come to dialogue table in order to remove illiteracy and poverty from the region. He said Pakistan needs peace at both eastern and western fronts.
Referring to the cancelled meeting between foreign ministers of both counties on the sidelines of UN General Assembly session in New York earlier this year, he said India had initially agreed on the meeting but later backtracked due to domestic political compulsions. He said India had in mind elections in six states of the Union and general elections next year.
Foreign Minister said our response was very measured and mature in which we said Pakistan is willing to engage when they are ready as engagement is the only solution to our bilateral outstanding issues.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi said two neighbors, that are also nuclear powers, have been acknowledging of their bilateral issues since the last many decades. Dialogues were also held in the past and these were stalled due to various reasons.
Regarding the opening of Kartarpur Corridor, he said the gesture by Pakistan was made for peace and completing the long-standing demand of Sikh community to visit one their holiest places.
He said the Indian cabinet held a meeting and decided to reciprocate this gesture and did the groundbreaking a day earlier than Pakistan. They also sent two of their ministers to attend the ceremony in Pakistan. A group of 50 Indian journalists also attended the Kartarpur Corridor ceremony in Pakistan.
Foreign Minister said a stable and peaceful neighborhood is our requirement in order to improve our socio-economic conditions. He said India must realize the high price Pakistan has paid in fighting the war against terror. He said no other nation has sacrificed 75,000 people in this war, besides suffering losses of billions of rupees. He said all credit goes to people and armed forces of Pakistan who have exhibited their resilience.