Pakistan welcomes Trump’s mediation offer

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Ready for talks with India without conditions

Zahid Chaudhary

Islamabad—Describing it as a courtesy call made by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to the US President elect Donald Trump felicitating him on his victory in the presidential election, Pakistan has welcomed Trump’s willingness to play a role in resolution of outstanding disputes between Islamabad and New Delhi. Relations between the two sides currently stand at the lowest ebb primarily because of the Indian belligerent posture on the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) as well as at the Working Boundary between J&K and Paki-stan.
“On several occasions during his election campaign, Trump had offered to play the role of mediator as tensions escalated between the two countries on account of the situation in Kashmir,” said the foreign offices spokesperson Nafees Zakariya at his weekly news briefing here on Thursday.
He said both Pakistan and the US give importance to each other’s relations. “ We have long-standing relations with Washington and would continue to work with the new US administration to further strengthen them, he said adding the visit of Donald Trump to Pakistan will be most welcomed.
Nafees Zakariya pointed out that India has been instrumental in heightening the situation at the line of control and the working boundary. What it is doing in occupied Kashmir is also a matter of concerns for us. Despite all this, he said Pakistan believes in peaceful neighborhood. He said all the issues including that of Kashmir can only be resolved through dialogue process.
He said Pakistan is participating in the Heart of Asia conference in Amritsar, India which shows Pakistan’s commitment towards peace and stability in Afghanistan.
To another question, the spokesperson said Pakistan has been forcefully raising the ongoing Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir at the international level including with the US. He said a dossier in this regard has also been submitted with the United States. He said Pakistan will continue to highlight the Indian atrocities at the world forums.
He pointed out that it is India which is imposing conditions to talks while Pakistan has been stressing for across the board talks on all issues.
About Pak-Russia relations, Nafees Zakariya said these are growing steadily in diverse fields. He said Pakistan gives importance to its relations with Moscow.
About the visit of Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, he said Pakistan is looking forward to the visit but the dates have not yet been finalized.