Kashmiri leaders should be part of dialogue with India: Pakistan

Published November 13, 2013
Pakistani Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry. —File Photo
Pakistani Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry. —File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday said it wanted resumption of dialogue with India for the resolution of all outstanding issues including Kashmir.

Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry in his weekly briefing said Kashmir is the core issue between the two countries and its solution lies in the dialogue process.

However, the spokesman urged that the Kashmiri leadership should also be part of the dialogue.

The comments from the Foreign Ministry spokesman comes after Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz met Hurriyat leaders on his visit to the Indian capital.

The meeting largely irked New Delhi, prompting Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid to say that if Pakistan was serious about having a meaningful dialogue, it would be necessary to respect “India’s sentiments, point of view and sensitivities of our country.”

Not naming the meeting per se, Khurshid said: “The events in recent times are not seen by us or indeed by anybody in India as encouraging events, I think they are counter-productive.”

Chaudhry, however, defended Aziz’s meeting, saying it was not the first time Pakistan had met with Hurriyat leaders in India.

The spokesman told reporters today that Islamabad has always extended moral, diplomatic and political support to the Kashmiri people for their right to self determination.

Regarding Aziz’s official meetings with his Indian counterparts, Chaudhry said the advisor held talks with the Indian external affairs minister and national security advisor on all issues including the situation at the Line of Control.

He said the Directors General of Military Operations (DGMOs) of both countries have made a number of contacts on the LoC situation and agreed to normalise the situation at the working boundary. He said that the ceasefire agreement of 2003 should be respected for a peaceful environment between the two neighbors.

He said Sartaj Aziz also paid a courtesy call on the Indian prime minister today and affirmed the desire of Pakistan to have friendly and peaceful neighborly relations with India.

The advisor also expressed Pakistan's desire for resumption of dialogue process, he added.

He said that the ongoing repression of Indian security forces in the Kashmir valley is a matter of grave concern for Pakistan. He said that not only Pakistan but several human rights organisations have also raised voice against the human rights violations in Indian-administered Kashmir.

‘Afghan soil used against Pakistan’

Replying to a question about Mullah Fazalullah, the new chief of the banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militant group, the spokesperson said Pakistan has made it clear to Afghanistan several times that it should not allow the use of its territory against Pakistan.

He expressed the confidence that Afghanistan would take the required steps in this regard.

He said a visit by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Kabul is on the cards but no dates have yet been fixed.

Answering a question about the whereabouts of Mullah Baradar, the spokesperson said that he is in Pakistan and can contact his family members. He said Pakistan had released Mullah Baradar to advance the Afghan peace and reconciliation process. He said Pakistan would continue to play a positive role in the Afghan peace and reconciliation process.

Answering a question about the recent drone attack in North Waziristan, the spokesperson said, the protest on it was conveyed to the US Ambassador to Pakistan.

“We have also briefed the five permanent members of the UN Security Council about the drone attacks which are illegal and carry human rights and humanitarian implications.”

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