Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamaliís statement on restoration of diplomatic ties with India
During my phone call to Prime Minister Vajpayee on 28 April 2003, I sensed a positive desire on his part to break the impasse in our relationship and to take steps which would lead to improved relations between Pakistan and India. The entire international community is watching with hope and expectation the movement towards a future of peace, security and prosperity in South Asia.
I have sent a formal invitation to Prime Minister Vajpayee to visit Pakistan. He is welcome to visit Pakistan whenever he wishes to do so.
The current global situation is marked by several challenges facing the international community. It is our duty to deal with these challenges collectively and constructively. The fight against terrorism is a case in point. Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and would continue to cooperate with the international community to eliminate this scourge. Of equal importance is the promotion of regional peace and security in regions of the world suffering from tensions and unresolved conflicts.
Encouraged by the recent positive developments and in order to set the stage for a meaningful dialogue with India, I have decided on the following measures:
i. Since the majority of travellers between India and Pakistan use train and bus services, these will be resumed immediately on acceptance by India.
ii. Resumption of airlink between India and Pakistan to facilitate travel of the people between the two countries.
iii. Immediate release of all Indian fishermen, 22 Sikh youth and the 14 crew members of the Indian cargo boat "Raj Laxhmi".
iv. resumption of sports ties beginning with Cricket and Hockey.
v. In addition to exchange of the two High Commissioners, we also propose restoration of the full strength of the missions of the two countries in their respective capitals.
In order to give impetus to SAARC to make it a more effective regional body, I have decided:
a. To place additional seventy eight items on the positive list. It is my hope that this will clear the way for a more meaningful SAARC role for the promotion of regional trade.
b. We will soon approach the Secretary General, SAARC to ascertain the convenience of the Member States for convening the 12th SAARC Summit in Islamabad well before the end of the current year.
c. Pakistan is also willing to host SAF games as soon as possible.
Nuclear realities in our region impose certain obligations and responsibilities on our two countries. It is, therefore, important for both India and Pakistan to engage in serious discussions for nuclear and strategic stability in our region. In this context, Pakistan supports the Confidence Building Measures outlined in the MOU signed in Lahore in February 1999 and we hope that a reconvened dialogue will enable us to conclude substantive and result oriented measures for arms restraint and promotion of security in our region.
We believe that all outstanding issues between Pakistan and India must be addressed sincerely and constructively and in a composite manner through a sustained dialogue with a sense of priority.
It is my hope that India will seize the moment, put aside the acrimony of the past and purposefully move forward with Pakistan to peacefully resolve all issues, including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir. Such a commitment is in the interest of harmony and stability in the region and for the prosperity of its billion-plus people. We should begin talks from where they were left off at Agra and work out an agenda for a tiered dialogue including Summit level interaction.
It is a matter of great satisfaction for me that in the endeavour we have undertaken, I enjoy the fullest support of the people and all major political parties whom I have consulted. With this national consensus we are ready to engage in a serious and substantive dialogue with India.
I want to assure my Kashmiri brothers and sisters as well as the people of Pakistan that at all stages, their interests will be of supreme importance.
06 May 2003.
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan