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Pak: We gave blank cheque to China on talks with India

Islamabad, January 22
Foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said Pakistan had given a "blank cheque" to China authorising it to negotiate with India on its behalf to deal with the aftermath of the Mumbai terrorist attacks.

Speaking at a reception at the Chinese embassy here last night, Qureshi said he had told Chinese special envoy He Yafei to "go to Delhi and you have a blank cheque from us".

The minister said he had told the envoy that Pakistan would endorse whatever China, an all-weather friend of Pakistan, would tell India.

The Chinese envoy visited Pakistan on December 29 and during his meetings with the country's leaders had indicated that Beijing would remain engaged with Islamabad to promote peace and stability in the region.

Soon after Yafei's visit, Pakistan made two proposals for defusing tensions. It asked India to "de-activate" forward airbases and relocate troops to peace-time positions.

The Chinese envoy travelled to New Delhi on January 5 and urged India to resume the dialogue with Pakistan.

Qureshi also said that Pakistan regarded its ties with China as the cornerstone of its foreign policy.

"We have complete trust, mutual understanding and convergence of views on bilateral, regional and international issues," he said. PTI

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