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Pakistan serious about normalising ties with India: Qureshi

Islamabad, July 17 (Calcutta Tube) A day after his tirade against India, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Saturday toned down his rhetoric saying Pakistan is very serious about normalising bilateral ties and stressed that the decision to continue talks is a ‘good augury’.

‘We are very serious about normalising our relations with India. I met with my Indian counterpart in Islamabad just day before yesterday. We agreed to embark on a sustained dialogue process. The decision to continue the talks is a good augury,’ said Qureshi.

Emphasising that normal relation between Pakistan and India will have far-reaching salutary effects for South Asia and beyond, he said: ‘Pakistan will do its utmost to make this happen’.

‘For too long, Pakistan and India have been entangled in a relationship of conflict. It is high time our two countries engage, with full sincerity of purpose, to resolve all bilateral disputes and make a new beginning of normal relations anchored in sovereign equality and mutual interest,’ Qureshi said in his opening remarks at a meeting of officials of the Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FODP) forum.

The talks between Qureshi and Indian Foreign Ministry S.M. Krishna Thursday ended in a deadlock over Pakistan raking up human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir and India’s insistence that Pakistan give a timeframe for completing trial of the 26/11 terrorists.

At a press conference in Islamabad, Qureshi Friday took potshots at Krishna and launched a broadside against what he called India’s ‘selective focus on terror’. He even said the ‘Indian foreign minister received foreign policy directions from New Delhi repeatedly during our meeting’.

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