Pakistan’s principled position

SPEAKING at the flag-hoisting ceremony at Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit reiterated Pakistan’s desire to settle all issues with India through dialogue including Jammu and Kashmir. He, however, stressed that Pakistan’s desire to hold a constructive dialogue with India should not be taken as a weakness as “our position on bilateral issues is rooted in principles and international law”.
A similar message was conveyed at the highest level as well when, during his address on the occasion of Pakistan Day Parade, President Mamnoon Hussain said that Pakistan wanted peaceful and friendly relations with India and termed the Kashmir issue an “unfinished agenda of the sub-continent’s partition”. The message is quite clear that Pakistan wants to pursue peace but not at the cost of its core interests and principles. It is, however, regrettable that India either engages in pressure tactics or adopts deceptive policies when it comes to its relations with Pakistan. A case in point is the water dispute. Indian leaders have been hurling threats of choking Pakistan’s share of water under the Indus Basin Treaty. These were not mere threats as New Delhi has launched almost three- dozen projects that could store each and every drop of water flowing to Pakistan. Under pressure from international community, an Indian delegation came to Pakistan and New Delhi agreed to review design of at least one project. But the next day a report from Indian capital said India would not attend Secretary level talks in Washington to discuss dispute over two major projects. India has also not so far responded to repeated calls from Pakistan for resumption of stalled composite dialogue and is continuously violating LoC, Working Boundary through unprovoked firing and resorting to more repressive tactics to crush Kashmiri people. This clearly shows India is not interested in peace in region and Pakistan must therefore recalibrate policies to safeguard its national interest.

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