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Pakistan PM Expects 'Substantive Dialogue'

Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz Sunday said he expected "substantive dialogue" on all bilateral relations including the issue of Kashmir in his talks with Indian leadership during a visit to New Delhi. 

"The meeting with the Indian leadership is a follow-up to President (Pervez) Musharraf's meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New York," Aziz told reporters before leaving for Sri Lanka on the first leg of his four-day visit to South Asian countries that will also take him to Maldives and India.


Aziz is visiting these countries in the second phase of his visit to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries in his capacity as its current chairman.


He has already visited Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan early this month.


Aziz said he would hold talks with these countries on ways and means to further enhance the role of SAARC in promoting regional cooperation and making it a more effective and vibrant organization.


Pakistan assumed the SAARC chair at the 12th summit held in Islamabad this year while the next summit is scheduled to be held in Bangladesh in January next year.


The visit would also give Aziz an opportunity to discuss bilateral relations with these countries.


In Sri Lanka, he would meet President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and have detailed discussions with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakese on measures to enhance trade.


In Maldives, he would have an extensive meeting with President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom on SAARC matters as well as bilateral relations.


Aziz said in his talks with the Indian leadership he would discuss bilateral and multilateral issues as to how SAARC can be made more effective.


"The relations between Pakistan and India affect the effectiveness of SAARC," he said while adding, progress in their bilateral relationship would make SAARC more effective.


(China Daily November 22, 2004)

Pakistani PM Vows to Pursue Dialogue with India
India Offers Kashmir Talks, Pulls Troops
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