PM’s peace overture

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PRIME Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday said that Pakistan is willing to engage conditionally with India for peace and prosperity of the region.

Addressing at the 6th Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana, he said onus remains on India to take necessary steps to engage towards the result-oriented solutions of all the outstanding issues, adding Pakistan desired peaceful relations with all its neighbours, including India.

Pakistan has long been urging India to sit across the negotiating table to sort out disputes that have, so far, scuttled the steady march of the two countries on the path of progress, prosperity and sustainable security and stability.

Pakistan’s plea is not without a reason as the poverty-plagued region has to spend huge money on defence and security, which should, otherwise, have gone to address common challenges like backwardness, ignorance and disease.

It was in this backdrop that the Prime Minister categorically declared that Pakistan was willing to engage with India for the sake of prosperity and development as both sides of the border cannot afford to deal with massive challenges of poverty and unemployment amid meagre resources.

Similar sentiments were repeatedly expressed by former Prime Minister Imran Khan with the objective of encouraging New Delhi to agree to a meaningful dialogue process to resolve all outstanding issues including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir but regrettably India never showed sincerity to the process of peaceful engagement.

Instead, it took unilateral measures to deprive the disputed region of its special status under the Indian Constitution, illegally merged it and now it has embarked upon a strategy of demographic change in a bid to dilute the pre-dominant Muslim status of the area.

The entire population of the occupied territory is agitating against these measures and gross abuse of human rights on different pretexts.

India is also trying to cover up its genocide in Occupied Kashmir with the force propaganda aimed at labelling the legitimate freedom struggle as terrorism.

The world community has a role to play to prevent atrocities against people who are demanding nothing but their birth right of self-determination as also pledged by the United Nations under its relevant resolutions.

The Prime Minister deserves appreciation for drawing the attention of the world towards the ‘bullet over ballot’ policy of India, a path India will have to abandon for the sake of regional peace and prosperity.

 

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