Islamabad, Mar 30: Pakistan Prime Minister Makhdoom Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that the success of the confidence building measures (CBMs) introduced jointly by his country and India since 2004 would be dependent on the resolution of the Kashmir dispute.
Spelling out his coalition government's foreign policy in the National Assembly on Saturday, Gilani said: "The CBMs will only be beneficial when the Kashmir issue is resolved according to the aspirations of the Kashmiri people and under the set international principles." He assured the Kashmiri brethren that their sacrifices would not be wasted and emphasized that the dialogue process with New Delhi would be accelerated to resolve the issue. "We will promote brotherhood and peace with neighboring countries," he maintained.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan believed in a policy of live and let live with peace, coexistence and tranquility and intended to have better relationship with all nations with dignity and honour on the basis of reciprocal equality. While indicating a further enhancement of relations with the United States and the Europe, Gilani declared China a time-tested friend.
"The Pakistan-China friendship is deeper than the oceans and higher than the Himalayas. Pakistan would further strengthen its deep rooted ties with China," he said. Gilani said Pakistan wanted a peaceful and developing Afghanistan and would make all out efforts to restore peace there as it was in his country's interest.
Other significant issues taken up during his speech included announcement of the withdrawal of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) Ordinance of November 3, 2007, Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) in FATA, a 40 per cent reduction in the budget of the Prime Minister's House, an end to VIP privileges that were deemed unnecessary, no unnecessary lighting on public buildings on festivities and no money would be spent on the renovation of government buildings and residences and no ban on trade and student unions.
Gilani promised to restore the deposed judges and ensure independence of the judiciary according to the Charter of Democracy and the Murree Declaration.