No country can isolate Pakistan, says Basit

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‘Pak still ready for int’l probe of Uri incident’

New Delhi—Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit has said that India’s conspiracy to isolate Pakistan has failed.
In an interview to an Indian newspaper he said that no state in the world has the capability of isolating Pakistan as it has significant geo-strategic location and has a population of 200 million people.
“Pakistan is contributing to international peace and it remains one of the largest contributors to the UN peace keeping missions. “We know our place in the world,” he said.
He said Pakistan was a country of 200 million people and blessed with such a remarkable geo strategic location that no country on earth could isolate it.
“In fact, in the upcoming five to ten years, Pakistan is destined to emerge as a regional economic hub because we are the natural bridge between West Asia, Central Asia and South Asia. You cannot take that position from us. Rather than wasting time in isolating Pakistan, it is important to look at ways to integrate and connect with each other,” he added.
Pakistan’s high commissioner to India termed the postponement of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) conference as a “collective loss”.
He said Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was the elected head of the government and looking after all affairs of the country.
About the Indian claims of surgical strikes, Basit said “If you want to describe this cross-LoC firing as a surgical strike, we cannot stop you. But the fact of the matter is no surgical strike took place. And I can assure you that had there been any surgical strike, Pakistan would have responded immediately and proportionately. And we do not need time for preparation.”
To another question about Uri attack, he said Pakistan had already suggested an international probe to ensure conclusive and irrefutable findings. “Our offer is still there…because we need to get out of this blame game. And for that, we strongly feel an international probe would be a much better option,” he added.
About dialogue process between the two nuclear-powered South Asian countries, he said that they did not have any impasse as far as the framework for dialogue was concerned. He said the important thing was to get back to the negotiating table with the framework already decided.
“The distrust between Pakistan and India cannot end unless Kashmir issue is fairly resolved,” he added.
To Indian Occupied Kashmir issue, Basit questioned whether hundreds of thousands who came out for Wani’s funeral were supporting a terrorist?
“Over 100 people have been killed, more than 14,000 injured since July 9. Were they also terrorists? If you look at the Kashmiri struggle through the prism of terrorism, you would arrive at the wrong conclusion. Do you want to declare all people of J&K terrorists? This is an indigenous movement as has been proved time and again,” he added.
The High Commissioner said that India could give any name to the struggle of the Kashmiris, but the facts on the ground won’t change. “We want to have a good relationship with India but the mistrust we share can’t be plugged until there is a just and fair resolution of the Kashmir dispute,” he added.—NNI