MUZAFFARABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif while addressing a joint session of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Assembly on Kashmir Day said that the solution of all issues, including that of disputed Kashmir, lies in dialogue.
"Difference of opinion between two countries is not unheard of," Nawaz said, referring to Pakistan's differences with India over Kashmir. "What is unusual is that for 6-7 decades, we have not been able to get rid of these differences," he said.
"I brought this up with the Indian leadership and would like to reiterate that the solution to our problems lies in dialogue. Unless we sit together and talk about these issues, they won't be resolved," Nawaz told the assembly, expressing hope that the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue between Pakistan and India would see progress in days to come.
The prime minister said Pakistan has assured Indian leadership of cooperation on every issue, including terrorism. "Pakistan is most affected by terrorism. Who wants eradication of terrorism more than Pakistan?" he asked.
The prime minister emphasised the importance of development in Kashmir. "The benefits of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will reach AJK, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit Baltistan, which are a big part of the CPEC. Development of roads and power projects has been planned to help end the power shortage and bring progress to these areas," he said.
"The President of AJK gave me a list of delayed power projects in AJK. I will ask why there has been a delay and has progress been made on these projects," he assured lawmakers. "If there is a power shortage somewhere, it is a not a problem that we have created, but rather one that we have inherited," he said.
Speaking on the occasion, AJK Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed lauded Nawaz for taking a clear stance on Kashmir in the United Nations, Radio Pakistan reported.
In his speech, AJK Assembly Leader of the Opposition Raja Farooq Haider said Pakistan is a source of strength and hope for Kashmiris in their struggle for freedom.