Composite dialogue progressing: Aziz
KARACHI: The composite dialogue with India was progressing at the official level, said Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz while briefing the Sindh cabinet at Chief Minister’s House in Karachi on Saturday.
He said that he would visit India next month where he would hold a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, aimed at further promoting the pace of the peace talks between the two countries.
The prime minister said that President Pervez Musharraf’s bid to provoke media debate with his proposals for Kashmir was already working. He emphasised that no decision would be taken on Kashmir that ran contrary to the will of the Kashmiri people.
Prime Minister Aziz then talked about Pakistan’s relations with its neighbours, saying that China was a tested friend of Pakistan. He said that he would visit China in December or January.
On Afghanistan, he said that it was in the interests of not only Pakistan, but the whole world, that peace and stability prevail in that country. He added that Pakistan’s exports to Afghanistan this year stood at one billion dollars and were gradually rising.
He described Pakistan’s relations with Iran as very good and said that he would visit that country in the first quarter of 2005.
The prime minister stressed that his government was positioning Pakistan as an “anchor of stability” in the region. On the same day, the prime minister held a press conference at Sindh Governor’s House, where he talked about domestic issues.
He said that his government was working on improving the country’s existing judicial system by speeding up the disposal of cases and was prepared to make amendments to the law where necessary. He said that the government planned to increase both the number of existing judges and courts, but would take the judiciary and the bar into confidence on this matter.
Prime Minister Aziz reiterated the government’s commitment to the multi-million rupee Karachi Package deal, announced by President Musharraf in December of last year. He added that the federal government had initiated a number of projects to improve the living standard of the city’s 15 million residents, such as the privatisation of the Karachi Electricity Supply Corporation (KESC), aimed at cutting power shortages.
He said that the government had achieved 6.4 per cent GDP growth last year and that the figure would increase this year. Mr Aziz expressed his gratitude to the people of Sindh for contributing to his election as prime minister.