Engagement with India

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THE Foreign Office (FO) on Friday issued a clarification on Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s comments from a day ago in which he had seemingly advocated re-engagement with India, saying that there was no change in Pakistan’s policy towards its eastern neighbour and there was a national consensus on this.

As far as Pakistan’s foreign policy is concerned, it has always advocated for cordial and peaceful relations with all its neighbours including India.

Our stress has been to resolve the outstanding disputes with India through dialogue.

Hence, the very statement of the Foreign Minister should also be seen in the same context instead of blowing it out of proportion.

Indeed, engagement is the way forward as any conflict between the two nuclear armed nations will have disastrous impact not only for this region but the whole world.

However, it is unfortunate that India has never reciprocated to Pakistan’s peace overtures, rather made the environment hostile through Balakot air strike as well as revoking the special status of illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

Given the current situation where Indian forces have broken all records of brutalities in IIOJK as well as Muslims in India are being persecuted, there appears to be no possibility of talks.

In fact there will be a serious backlash within Pakistan if we try to engage with New Delhi in the current situation where the BJP leaders have of late also been seen using offensive remarks against our holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) which needs to be condemned by all.

The onus rests with India to first create an enabling environment for talks.

For this, it should end its brutal campaign against Kashmiris as well as curb Islamophobic incidents in India.

It is also for the world community to pressurize New Delhi to correct its course and refrain from blatant human rights violations of Muslims.

There is a need to rein in Modi’s India before it is too late. Our Foreign Office must continue its efforts to expose the real ugly face of India before the world without succumbing to any sort of pressure.