Kashmir should be resolved peacefully, says Pakistan

Islamabad, Dec 5: Pakistan Thursday said the Kashmir issue should be resolved “peacefully through talks based on UN Security Council resolutions”.

“The present government has also extended its full support to the Kashmir cause. We believe that the Kashmir issue should be resolved peacefully through talks based on UN Security Council resolutions,” Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Chaudhry said at a briefing.

He said the Nawaz Sharif government has “always urged the Indian government to engage with us in meaningful and substantive talks to resolve this long standing dispute”.

“We further believe that the Kashmiri leadership should be associated with the dialogue process. The present government wishes to have improved relations with India.”

“We believe that all issues between the two countries should be resolved through bilateral talks,” he said.

“Improved good-neighbourly relations between the two countries are an imperative for economic development of the region,” the spokesman said.

The issue of Kashmir figured in the briefing in the wake of a report in the Dawn quoting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as saying that the Kashmir issue was a flashpoint which can trigger a fourth war with India.

Sharif’s office later denied having made any such statement.

To a question on Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s remark that in his lifetime Pakistan cannot win a war against India, the spokesperson said: “We believe that Pakistan and India need to address the mistrust that exists between the two countries.”

“Pakistan is committed to a meaningful dialogue as we believe that it is the best way to resolve issues and misunderstandings and improve bilateral relations.”

Manmohan Singh made the statement in response to Sharif’s purported remarks that appeared in the Dawn.

Asked about the statement of prime minister’s adviser on national security and foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz that India should pull out its troops from Siachen, the spokesperson said Aziz’s comments were made “on the environmental dimension of the Siachen issue”.

“Our position on Siachen is well-known. We believe that there should be disengagement of forces and demilitarisation of the area and the issue needs to be resolved through talks.”

IANS