Pakistan wants early resumption of peace talks with India: FO

Published December 13, 2013
“We hope that the bilateral dialogue process will resume soon and all issues will be addressed with a view to promoting better relations between Pakistan and India,” Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Chaudhry said at a weekly media briefing. — File photo
“We hope that the bilateral dialogue process will resume soon and all issues will be addressed with a view to promoting better relations between Pakistan and India,” Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Chaudhry said at a weekly media briefing. — File photo

ISLAMABAD, Dec 12: The Foreign Office said on Thursday that Pakistan wants an early resumption of peace talks with India for resolution of outstanding disputes.

“We hope that the bilateral dialogue process will resume soon and all issues will be addressed with a view to promoting better relations between Pakistan and India,” Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Chaudhry said at a weekly media briefing.

The FO comments came as Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif visited India. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had also met the Indian high commissioner before the younger Sharif embarked on the trip.

Without explicitly saying that Shahbaz Sharif was on a special mission for putting the derailed dialogue process back on track, the spokesman said: “You are well aware that the present government wishes to improve relations with India.”

He said the situation on the Line of Control had de-escalated following Prime Minister Sharif’s meeting with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh in New York during which the two had agreed on a meeting of the directors general of military operations of their countries.

“Pursuant to the decision of the two prime ministers that the ceasefire on the LoC must be respected, the directors general of military operations of the two countries established contact on 25th and 29th of October and agreed to ensure that ceasefire on the LoC is not violated. Ever since, by and large ceasefire has been respected. There was also a contact between Pakistan Rangers and Indian Border Security Force,” Mr Chaudhry said.

About the prime minister’s latest proposal for beginning a counter-terrorism dialogue at the level of the national security advisers, he said the government expected India to positively respond to the suggestion.

The spokesman rejected a perception that US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel had during his meetings in Islamabad threatened to squelch the reimbursement of coalition fund claims.

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