Reaching out to India,Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari pressed for early resumption of the composite dialogue process,stalled since the Mumbai attacks,and said Kashmir and other outstanding issues between the two countries should be settled peacefully.
“We will continue to seek the peaceful settlement for all outstanding disputes,including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir,(with India),” Zardari said in a customary address to a joint sitting of the Senate and National Assembly.
“At the same time,the Government also believes that Indo-Pakistan relations can and should be improved. We hope that the composite dialogue process will be revived soon,” he said,referring to the peace process started by the two countries in 2004.
India maintains that the dialogue process cannot be resumed till Pakistan takes concrete steps to end terrorism emanating from its soil.
New Delhi put the dialogue on hold following the November 26 Mumbai terrorist attacks that killed over 180 people. It has blamed Pakistan-based elements,including the banned Lashker-e-Toiba group,for the strike and urged Islamabad to do more to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Zardari said the government led by his Pakistan People’s Party is “fully cooperating to bring the criminals behind the Mumbai attacks to justice”.