WEB DESK: Pakistan on Thursday expressed willingness to hold talks with India without preconditions if New Delhi is ready to come to the table to discuss all issues agreed in the Ufa declaration, including the Kashmir dispute.
Responding to a statement by his Indian counterpart that New Delhi is ready for talks, Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah told a weekly press briefing that it is not advisable to have a selective approach to the Ufa understanding between the two countries.
He pointed out that the joint press release issued at Ufa, Russian, called for a comprehensive agenda including discussions on all outstanding issues, counter terrorism, confidence building measures, peace and security, the LoC, Working Boundary and co-operation within the framework of Saarc.
“We have expressed our willingness to hold talks with India if Kashmir is included in the agenda and no preconditions are set by India,” he said, adding Kashmiris are directly affected by the Kashmir dispute and therefore they are a party to it.
He said the Hurriyat is main representative of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and because of the political stature of Syed Ali Gillani, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif invited him to visit Pakistan and exchange views on the current situation in the Indian occupied Kashmir. “We expect that his visit to Pakistan would be helpful in projecting the voice of Kashmiris in Pakistan and internationally…Pakistan has always expressed serious concern at the violations of human rights of Kashmiris by India,” he added.
To a question, he said that Pakistan has given three dossiers to the UN Secretary General with evidence of India’s involvement in Balochistan and Karachi and fomenting terrorism in Pakistan by supporting Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). “We expect India not to allow use of its soil for hatching conspiracies against Pakistan,” he added.
Asked to comment on the statement on Balochistan by an Afghan national taking refuge in India, he said that Balaach Pardili is an Afghan national and Pakistan expects Afghan government to take up the issue with India to ensure that its nationals living in India are not used for fomenting terrorism in Pakistan.
He underscored that India has been accusing Pakistan of supporting non-state actors for creating problems in other countries. He stated that majority of terrorist incidents staged by the Indian side on its soil to implicate and malign Pakistan have proved to be “fake”.
“I wish to underscore that, in case of India, the international community is aware that state actors have been involved in destabilising and fomenting terrorism in neighbouring countries including Pakistan,” he said, adding what Kashmiris are facing is also state terrorism. However, he said that terrorism is our common enemy and a co-operative approach is required to deal with this menace.
About peace talks on Afghanistan, the spokesman said Pakistan is ready to host another round of talks if the Afghan government wants, adding Pakistan firmly believes that reconciliation is the only way forward for peace in that country. To another query, he said that Afghan allegations that Pakistan is supporting militants are unfounded, adding non-interference in internal affairs of Afghanistan is a key pillar of Pakistan’s Afghan policy.
“We are fully committed not to allow our territory to be used against any other country including Afghanistan. Pakistan has also said that occupation of Afghan territory by force by any group is condemnable,” he added.
Commenting on reports that the US is reconsidering its withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2016, the spokesperson said that it is for the Afghan government to comment on it. However, he added that Pakistan attaches importance to peace and stability in Afghanistan and “we know that the US has also been supporting peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.”
About Israeli settlement in occupied lands in Palestine, he said that Pakistan condemns the illegal settlements in Arab occupied lands, adding the country considers right of self-determination as an inalienable right of people of Palestine. Regarding Pakistan-Turkey relations, he said that Pakistan and Turkey are brotherly countries and both enjoy very close co-operation in many fields including trade, economy, culture, defence and counter-terrorism.
Pakistan wishes to enhance co-operation with Turkey in all fields of mutual interest, he added. Replying to a question about presence of Daesh in Pakistan, the spokesman reiterated that there are no footprints of Daesh in the country.
About an Indian girl Geeta, he said that Pakistan on its part has completed all formalities for repatriation of Geeta and the Indian side has already been informed accordingly. We, therefore, are waiting for a response from the Indian High Commission regarding the mode of her return, he added.
About resumption of service of Samjhauta Express, he said that 33 Pakistanis who were stranded at Old Delhi Railway Station because of suspension of Samjhauta Express operations by India were sent back by bus with the assistance of Pakistan’s High Commission.
By Ali Hussain
Source: Business Recorder