NEW DELHI - After holding talks with his Indian counterpart Ranjan Mathai on crucial issues including terrorism, Pakistani Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani said Friday the two countries had made ‘good progress’ during the parleys.
He also stressed the need for India and Pakistan to work together to fight terrorism. “I think in our two days of meeting, we have made some very good progress. We are developing very good understanding of our perspective point of views and I think there is desire on both sides to move forward our relationship and I have absolutely no doubt that we are moving in the right direction,” Jilani said here before leaving for Pakistan.
He said that Pakistan was eagerly waiting for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan to visit. “I think, high level contact between our two countries... also very very important to move the process forward”.
Rejecting media reports that the two nations got stuck on core issues like Kashmir during Jilani’s two-day visit to India, he said, “We had very productive meetings wherein key issues including Kashmir and terrorism were discussed. Overall I feel that the meeting ended on a progressive note and both the sides wanted to move forward,” he said.
Talking in detail on Pak’s offer of a joint probe on Mumbai attacks, Jalil said, “I am absolutely convinced about it. Both countries are suffering from terrorism and it is need of the hour that we work seriously and sincerely to eradicate it. We must be candid and move forward quietly to resolve this issue.”
However when asked why Pakistan was not arresting Hafiz Saeed, Jilani said, “If you recall that we have acted against anyone accused of wrongdoings in the past.
We need substantial evidence and have to follow a set procedure. If we don’t follow these procedures then even the courts will set people free.”
On meeting the Kashmiri leaders before talks with his Indian counterpart, he said, “Kashmir has been a long standing dispute and we have to maintain dialogue with Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control.”