Resuming bilateral talks most 'viable' option: Mahmud Kasuri

Islamabad: Welcoming the initiation of the bilateral talks between India and Pakistan, former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri on Wednesday said that the resumption of talks was the best viable option for both the countries.

'First of all I would like to welcome it. I am not one of the cynics who always put ifs and buts,' Kasuri told exclusively to ANI. 'Prime Minister Narendra Modi's own agenda of development which he has made to the people of India is only possible if there is peace within the country and peace on the borders'I am very happy that Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met and agreed to resume the talk,' he added.

He added that there is no option but to resume dialogues, as civilians and defence personnel continue to pay the price for the hostility between both the nations. 'We have no option but to move forward. What options have we got? Can we continue to fire across the LoC and kill innocent people on daily basis? Is that a viable option? The only option is to talk'It is interest of both the countries to resume talks,' he said.

He also insisted that one of the advantages of the sideline meetings is that they could set in motion a lot of positive things.

He hoped that positive forces would be unleashed with the meetings of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Prime Minister Sharif and Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz.

Sushma Swaraj is on a two-day visit to Pakistan where she is leading the Indian delegation to attend Heart of Asia Conference in Islamabad, the two-day ministerial meeting on Afghanistan that began yesterday.

She had yesterday met her Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz at the dinner hosted for 'Heart of Asia' delegates.

Swaraj would also meet Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the conference today.

Swaraj's visit comes two days after talks between the National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan in Bangkok, where they discussed terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir and a range of key bilateral issues apart from agreeing to carry forward the constructive engagement.

The National Security Advisors (NSAs) of India and Pakistan had earlier met in Bangkok on Sunday and held discussions on various issues of mutual interest, including terrorism and Jammu and Kashmir.

The meeting between the two NSAs - who were accompanied by Foreign Secretaries of their respective nations - was an outcome of the short meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the United Nations Climate Conference in Paris recently.

Prime Minister Modi and Sharif had earlier met in Paris as the climate conference began in the French capital. The two leaders warmly held hands before sitting down for a chat amidst frosty ties between the two neighbours.

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