Pakistan to talk to Kashmiri leaders before dialogue with India: Nawaz

Published November 20, 2014
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. - AFP/File
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. - AFP/File

MUZZAFARABAD: Pakistan will speak with Kashmiri leaders before it enters into dialogue with India, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Thursday.

Nawaz was speaking at a session of the Kashmir Council in Muzzafarabad, where he earlier arrived for a one-day visit.

"Blaming Pakistan's agencies for involvement in extremism is an utter lie," the prime minister said, adding that Pakistan itself was “the biggest victim of terrorism".

He expressed satisfaction with the international community's acknowledgement of India's "biased attitude" towards its neighbour. "The United Nations should play its role in this regard."

"It is our fundamental belief that the Kashmir issue should be resolved through dialogue. My government initiated dialogue with India but India cancelled the scheduled foreign secretary talks," he added.

Also read: India calls off secretary-level talks

The prime minister was referring to the cancellation of secretary level talks between India and Pakistan, which India called off following criticism of a meeting between Pakistani High Commissioner to New Delhi Abdul Basit and Hurriyat leader Shabir Shah in August.

Nawaz also said that the international community must play its role in bringing India to the dialogue table on the Kashmir issue.

He added that Pakistan's main stance was to resolve the Kashmir issue through talks, adding that India could be brought to the table for talks with the help of international institutions.

"Before dialogue with India, I have decided to engage with Kashmiri leaders," he added.

Nawaz also mentioned the recent skirmishes on the Line of Control (LoC), which he said the army befittingly responded to and politicians condemned unanimously.

More on this: ‘It is our right to meet Kashmiri leaders’

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