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March 9, 2018

Dialogue, diplomacy lead to issues resolution, Pakistan tells India


March 9, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Thursday said India should realise the importance of dialogue and resolution of disputes through diplomatic means.

“As you’re well aware, any suspension of dialogue is unwanted. Pakistan wants all issues with India to be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue. We have extended all humanitarian gestures to India that can help de-escalate the situation,” Foreign Office spokesman Dr Faisal told the weekly media briefing here.

The government has in the meantime urged the international community to call upon India to account for its crimes against humanity in the occupied Jammu & Kashmir. Pakistan says it is time for the international community to break its silence, put political and economic expedience behind and keep its promise to the Kashmiris by ensuring an expeditious resolution of the J&K dispute in line with the UNSC resolutions.

“Despite calls for restraint, India continues to indulge in ceasefire violations. In 2018, the Indian forces have carried out more than 415 ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary, resulting in the shahadat of 20 innocent civilians and injuries to 71 others,” the spokesman pointed out.

“The miseries of people in the Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir have increased with every passing day. We strongly condemn the inhumane and brutal treatment meted out to innocent and defenseless Kashmiris, both within the occupied land or in detention.

Breaking his silence on the ongoing visit of Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua to Washington, the spokesman said this was part of Pakistan’s continued engagement with the US and was reflective of the country’s desire to find common ground for working together with the US side and the effort to achieve our objective in Afghanistan i.e. peace and stability.

“The meeting that the foreign secretary will be having with her American interlocutors will provide an opportunity to exchange views in this regard,” he added. It is unprecedented that the government chose to keep the foreign secretary’s crucial US visit a secret and refrained from commenting on it for the past few days.

“We want to have a relationship with the US which is based on trust and mutual respect. Peace and stability in Afghanistan is a shared objective for both Pakistan and the United States. Pakistan has always extended maximum possible cooperation that could help in achieving our shared objectives”, explained the spokesman.

He said peace in Afghanistan could be secured through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process that offered incentives for all the Afghan stakeholders. “On our part, we are committed to supporting all efforts leading to a lasting peace in the region including the Afghan government’s offer of peace talks made during the recent Kabul process meeting. We will continue to support all efforts to this end”, he added.

In the face of US criticism that Pakistan was not doing enough to fight terror and even spearheaded a successful campaign to place it on the FATF ‘grey list’, the government says it takes respite in the fact that Pakistan is the only country in the region to successfully check and turn the corner in its fight against terrorism.

“We did this and turned the corner in our fight against terrorism by conducting indiscriminate and comprehensive counter-terrorism operations. Today, we can state with conviction that our law enforcing agencies continue to squeeze the space for individual militants and that there is no organized presence of terrorist groups within our territory”, he stated.

“Pakistan still remains the largest market for Afghan exports. Geographic proximity and the Afghan consumers’ confidence in Pakistani products are the principal strengths through which we can recapture our lost share in Afghan market.

We are engaged with the Afghan government and the members of business community in both the countries to explore ways to further expand our trade relations and extend necessary facilitation to the traders,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office is also feeling the heat from the Supreme Court especially in the case of dual nationality — a task normally entrusted to Nadra. “Regarding dual nationals, the Foreign Office can never be reluctant in submitting the list. In fact, we have already submitted it. However, I was told yesterday that the Supreme Court has now desired to get the list of spouses and family members of the officers as well, which will also be submitted soon,” said the spokesperson.

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