India, Pakistan should resolve all issues: Nawaz
* PML-N chief says Pakistan willing to abolish visa restrictions unilaterally
NEW DELHI: India and Pakistan should take the advantage of the forthcoming talks to “clinch all issues” and abolish restrictions on visas, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif said ahead of talks between India and Pakistan.
Foreign secretaries and ministers of India and Pakistan are meeting in Islamabad on May 20.
Nawaz told India’s Tehelka magazine in an interview that he and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari held a unanimous view on India-Pakistan relations.
“We have no problem and we will move forward and both sides feel similarly. We are committed [to having good relations with India],” Nawaz said, “and this window of opportunity has opened once again and we should make use of it, seize the opportunity and simply clinch all the issues.”
“Frankly, it’s not easy but if we have that political will, we can make progress,” he said, indicating the positive attitude of the new government in Pakistan on promoting better relations with India.
Restorations on visas: Nawaz told the magazine that he wanted to abolish the visa regime in both the countries. “I think if you don’t do it on a reciprocal basis, we might do it unilaterally,” he said. Nawaz also rebutted speculation about the prospect of a split between the PPP and PML-N over the restoration of the sacked judges.
“[No] doubt [it is] a setback but our decision to still support the coalition and to be their partners in parliament, if not in the cabinet, is because we don’t want to rock the boat,” Nawaz said when asked whether he felt let down by Zardari.
The PML-N chief said he and Zardari had common interest in ending the dictatorship. “We are still hoping that we will at least be able to say goodbye to dictatorship and restore a genuine democracy.”
He said they could not afford to strengthen the hands of a dictator who had all the time been trying to hatch conspiracies since the election results were announced.
“[President Pervez Musharraf] is still behaving like a military dictator and not [like] a president. We both have the powers and the ability and the opportunity to strip Musharraf [sic],” he said. online