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LAHORE: Following in the footsteps of the United States and North Korea, Pakistan and India should resume comprehensive peace talks, PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif suggests.

“Singapore Summit between the US and North Korea should set a good precedent for Pakistan and India to follow. Ever since the start of Korean War, the two nations have been at odds with one another -- both threatening to use military force with their nuclear arsenals facing each other,” Shahbaz said in a tweet on Tuesday.

He further said: “If the United States and North Korea can return from the brink of a nuclear flashpoint, there is no reason why Pakistan and India cannot do the same, beginning with a dialogue on Kashmir whose heroic people have resisted and rejected Indian occupation.”

Asking India to leave behind the past acrimony and move forward, Mr Sharif said: “It’s time for comprehensive peace talks in our region. International community must focus on the peace process in Afghanistan. Dialogue between Pakistan and India over Kashmir should also resume so that the long-festering Kashmir dispute is resolved in accordance with the UN resolutions.”

As Shahbaz’s elder brother and ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif often talks about ‘peace’ with India, Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has been critical of the Sharifs for what it calls not raising the Kashmir issue and Indian forces atrocities in the occupied valley.

The PML-N chief further said peace in Afghanistan was inevitable. He said Pakistan played an important role for peace in Afghanistan.

“After returning to power the PML-N will play its role for peace in the region, especially Afghanistan,” he added.

Earlier, Shahbaz questioned the PTI’s performance in Kyber Pakhtunkhwa. He asked the PTI what happened to its promises regarding construction of 350 dams, 250 colleges, 1,000 stadiums, train projects and elimination of corruption in the province.

He also asked Imran Khan as why he awarded PTI tickets to so-called electables instead of the loyal party workers and also questioned his source of income.

Responding to Mr Sharif’s criticism, PTI’s spokesman Fawad Chaudhry claimed the party’s government eliminated corruption from every department in the KP. It also invested hugely in the education sector that would benefit the coming generations, he added.

He said the PTI government in KP made over a dozen hospitals and as many universities there.

“We turned the war-torn province into a better one through better governance,” he said and asked Shabaz to tell the people about his promise of ending power loadshedding which was still there.

Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2018