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April 3, 2021

Talks with India: Pakistan welcomes role of third countries

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April 3, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office Friday welcomed the role of third countries in helping Pakistan and India to engage in talks and reiterated that the government did not believe in shying away from talks.

During the weekly media briefing here, spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri was asked about reports that the UAE, the US and some other countries were trying to bring the two neighbours together.

“As for the role of third countries, we believe that the international community has an important role to play in averting risks to peace and stability in the region and facilitating a just and lasting solution to the Jammu & Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolutions,” said the spokesman.

Chaudhri was quick to add that there was no change in Pakistan’s principled position on the Jammu & Kashmir dispute which remained anchored in the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

He pointed out that Pakistan saw its national security interests shifting from geo-politics to geo-economics and in this regard the concept of national security was also undergoing a review with economic security being central to it.

“While engaging with India, Pakistan has never shied away from talks. If India takes one step forward, we will take two. However, we do believe that durable peace, security and development in the region hinge on peaceful resolution of all outstanding issues including the long-standing Jammu and Kashmir dispute,” he added.

He pointed to a recent letter written to Prime Minister Modi in which Prime Minister Imran had reiterated that “durable peace and stability in South Asia is contingent upon resolving all outstanding issues, between India and Pakistan, in particular the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.”

“However, as clearly outlined by the prime minister creation of an enabling environment is imperative for a constructive and result-oriented dialogue. The prime minister has further mentioned that ‘creation of an enabling environment is imperative for a meaningful and result-oriented dialogue”, he said.

When asked about different messaging from the ECC and the cabinet related to opening up trade with India, the spokesman responded, “As you are aware, the federal cabinet has deferred the Economic Coordination Committee’s (ECC) decision to import sugar, cotton and cotton yarn from India.

As also stated by the foreign minister after a recent meeting of the cabinet, normalization of relations with India would not be possible without India revisiting its unilateral actions of 5 August 2019”.

To another query, the spokesman said Pakistan welcomed the findings of the US State Department Human Rights report on human rights violations in IIOJ&K. “We welcome the findings of the recent human rights report on the situation in IIOJ&K.

“The grave human rights situation in IIOJ&K has drawn condemnation from the international community including the UN human rights machinery. We believe that the international community must continue to closely monitor the situation in IIOJ&K and urge India to respect its obligations under the humanitarian and international laws,” he said.