ISLAMABAD  - Asking New Delhi to institutionalise the mechanism of meetings between the national security advisers to address terrorism-related matters between the two sides, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif stressed the need to resolve all the issues between India and Pakistan through dialogue.

“We have no option but to live in peace in the interest of the peoples of Pakistan and India,” Premier Sharif said while talking to Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan TCA Raghavan who called on him here at the Prime Minister’s House on Wednesday.

Nawaz said Pakistan believed in friendly relations with all its neighbours, especially India. He said the two countries should institutionalise mechanism of meetings between their national security advisers to discuss terrorism-related matters. It would help to allay the concerns of the two sides, he added.

The PM expressed satisfaction over calm on the LoC, but added the existing mechanism on LoC meetings needed to be further strengthened. He said the DGMOs of the two sides should meet regularly so that such occurrences could not happen in future. “I believe sincere and constructive measures need to be taken to reduce tension on the LoC and ensure that the ceasefire agreement of 2003 remains intact,” the PM said.

The PM asserted his government was committed to improving relations with India. “The normalisation process must remain on track. “We need to work to set aside the past, prevailing mistrust and lack of flexibility,” he added. “I am convinced that we have no option but to normalise relations for the sake of peace and betterment of our peoples,” the PM said.

Nawaz told the India high commissioner that he had a very good meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New York while Sartaj Aziz also met External Affairs Minister Salman Khursheed in New Delhi recently. We should continue to hold regular meetings at all levels as these would help normalise relations,” he asserted.

Expressing his desire to enhance trade relations with India, the PM said, “The second meeting of the Joint Business Council in New Delhi in October was useful. We look forward to further interactions between the two ministries of power and commerce to discuss ways and means in moving forward on trade matters.” The PM said, “We also need to increase people-to-people contacts, including visits of pilgrims,” terming it an important confidence-building measure.

Nawaz Sharif welcomed the Indian high commissioner on his new assignment in Pakistan and hoped his tenure would be as successful as was his previous stay in the capacity of deputy high commissioner from 2003-2007. Tariq Fatemi Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs was also present on the occasion.