Statement of the Foreign Secretary to Media after FS-Level meeting between Pakistan and India
Pursuant to the telephone call by Prime Minister Modi to the Prime Minister on 13th February 2015, the Foreign Secretary of India, Mr. S. Jaishankar, is on a visit to Islamabad today.
2. I held detailed discussions with Mr. Jaishankar today in a cordial and constructive atmosphere.
3. Our side was guided by the vision of the Prime Minister of Pakistan which envisages a peaceful and stable South Asia. Both sides recognized that the two countries need to work together to address mutual concerns and make efforts to promote peace and development.
4. My discussion with the Indian Foreign Secretary covered bilateral and regional issues of mutual concern and common interest, including the Jammu & Kashmir dispute. I told my Indian counterpart that the leadership and people of Pakistan were deeply attached to the cause of Jammu & Kashmir and we need to make a concerted effort to resolve this dispute and indeed other disputes like Siachen, Sir Creek and water issues that could also be addressed through dialogue.
5. I underlined that we needed to work together in areas of convergences and address each other’s concerns in areas of divergences. The importance of maintaining dialogue was also stressed.
6. The issue of the situation at the Line of Control and Working Boundary was also raised. I underscored Pakistan’s firm commitment to the 2003 ceasefire, and the need to make optimal use of existing mechanisms to maintain ceasefire.
7. I underlined that the global phenomenon of terrorism poses a continuing threat to peace and security. I reaffirmed Pakistan’s strong commitment to eradicate the menace. I underlined that Pakistan was desirous of cooperation from its neighbours, in particular. Indian side raised its concerns. We also raised the issue of Samjhota Express terrorist attack and Indian involvement in FATA and Balochistan.
8. On bilateral trade and economic relations, I affirmed Pakistan’s commitment to enhancing mutually beneficial trade and economic relations.
9. I also underlined the importance of greater people to people contacts and friendly exchanges in building a relationship of trust and friendship between the two countries. In this regard, I suggested that the two sides should encourage increased people to people exchanges; promote cooperation in various fields including religious tourism; and discourage hostile propaganda against each other.
10. I also emphasized the need to promote media and sports contacts.
11. I conveyed to the Indian Foreign Secretary that Pakistan attached high importance to SAARC, which is an important vehicle for promoting regional cooperation. Both of us agreed on the need to work together to develop the potential of regional cooperation.
12. Discussing the next SAARC Summit, I mentioned to Foreign Secretary Jaishankar that Pakistan is preparing to host the 19th SAARC Summit and was looking forward to welcoming the SAARC Leaders.
13. Overall, the visit provided an opportunity to discuss bilateral relations and to understand each other’s concerns and interests. It was agreed to work together to find common ground and narrow differences.
14. The Foreign Secretary of India called on the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Syed Tariq Fatemi, and Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sartaj Aziz.
15. Later, the Foreign Secretary of India also paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister.
March 3, 2015