In his remarks, the Ambassador stated that despite the history of tensions there is a strong realization in South Asia of theimperatives of peace and development in the region. The ambassador further added that the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif has articulated his vision of a peaceful neighborhood and extended a hand of cooperation towards India in order to build durable peace. The current government feels that South Asia cannot progress unless India and Pakistan resolve their differences and disputes and make a common cause against poverty, extremism and terrorism. He stated that terrorism was as much a concern to Pakistan as is to India. India should allay Pakistan’s concerns over interference in Baluchistan.
The Ambassador further stated that there is broad political consensus in Pakistan to promote regional cooperation as a path to peace and prosperity. Settlement of issues including the J&K dispute in accordance with international legality is of critical importance to establish permanent peace, he said.
Noting the progress previously made in bilateral relations, Ambassador Jilani stated that both sides have had constructive discussions in the composite dialogue in the past years and were able to conclude a number of Confidence Building Measures. While significant progresses have been made on the CBMs, not much progress has been achieved on the substantive issues. The two Prime Ministers have agreed to revive Foreign Secretary level talks, which he hoped would discuss the substantive issues in a structured manner.
During the interactive session, Ambassador Jilani said that there are tremendous opportunities to work together including science, technology and education for improving the quality of lives of the people of South Asia.
June 24, 2014