Disputes with India should be resolved through talks: FO

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Pakistan to welcome
third-party mediation


Observer Report
Islamabad

Disputes and problems with India must be resolved through dialogue and communication and Pakistan would appreciate the mediation of any country in such talks, the Foreign Office said on Friday.

Foreign Office spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, in his weekly media briefing, said Pakistan wanted good relations with India and was not running away from negotiations.

“We want to resolve all issues with India, Kashmir included, through talks. Our position on the Kashmir issue has not changed. “Pakistan has never refused to negotiate with India.

We believe the international community should hold talks in view of the existing conflict between the two countries,” said Chaudhri.

He added that countries continued to engage in talks even during war and that problems could only be solved through dialogue.

“We appreciate the mediation of any country, including the United States,” the spokesman said.

But any talks should be “meaningful and focused on fundamental issues”, Chaudhri stressed, adding that they should also be “purposeful and fruitful” where objectives were concerned.

“The environment for talks should be conducive and India should make a conducive environment.”

Chaudhri said the biggest issue between Pakistan and India was that of Kashmir and, therefore, it would be the basis of any talks between the two countries.

“Peace in the region is not possible without resolving the Kashmir issue,” he emphasised.

As a first step, the spokesperson said, India would have to withdraw the measures of August 5, 2019, which stripped Indian-occupied Kashmir of its special autonomy.

He said extra-judicial killings by Indian forces in IoK had continued unabated in the past week. “Ten more Kashmiris were martyred in Pulwama and Shopian districts of IoK.

Out of these, seven were martyred only yesterday,” he pointed out, adding that Pakistan had “repeatedly called for independent investigations under international scrutiny into the extra-judicial killings of all innocent Kashmiris”.

The spokesperson called upon the international community to recognise the continued human rights violations and “play its role in resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions”.

He also said there had been no progress in the appointment of high commissioners for Pakistan and India and a return of the envoys was currently unlikely.

Chaudhri also addressed the issue of delayed release of Pakistani prisoners by India, calling upon New Delhi to release the inmates as soon as possible.

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