Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit on Monday, in an interview with Indian TV channel Aaj Tak, said that Pakistan is ready for a dialogue with India on the sidelines of the Heart of Asia conference in Amritsar next week, India Today reported.
“The schedule of Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz is not cast in stone and if there was an offer for talks from the host nation, then it would be accepted by Pakistan,” Abdul Basit was quoted as saying.
Urging for resumption of dialogue process between the two neighbouring countries, Basit said, “We can delay talks for months or even for years. But ultimately, a solution to the problems between India and Pakistan can only come through dialogue, and therefore, both nations must sit and discuss all the issues that confront them.”
While commenting on tensions at India-Pakistan border, Basit said, “Escalation along the Line of Control is not in Pakistan’s as well as India’s interest.”
The Pakistan army is heavily deployed along the country’s western borders as part of the Operation Zarb-i-Azb and it is wrong to say that the escalation is being fuelled by Pakistan, he maintained.
“We would like that hostilities along the Line of Control (LoC) come to an end and that the 2003 ceasefire understanding is turned into a formal agreement between India and Pakistan,” Basit asserted.
While commenting on the appointment of the new army chief and democratic system in Pakistan, Basit said, “Pakistan’s democracy has matured in a way that the era of military coups is over. An equilibrium has been set. The voice of the people and democracy is becoming stronger. There’s no question of a military coup in the future.”
Last month, Sartaj Aziz had confirmed that Pakistan will be attending the upcoming Heart of Asia conference scheduled to be held in India.
In September this year, India decided not to take part in South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) summit which was supposed to be held in Islamabad Pakistan.
Announcing Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to not participate in the conference, India’s external affairs ministry had said there were other countries that had expressed reservations about participating in the summit amid heightened tensions over terrorism.
The Indian prime minister stepped up a drive to isolate Pakistan diplomatically after the Uri army base attack.
Hours after the attack occurred, Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh termed Pakistan a ‘terrorist state’. India also accused Pakistan of involvement in the attack.
The Uri attack occurred days before Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was set to address the United Nations General Assembly regarding Indian human rights violations in held Kashmir.
Following the attack, India claimed to have conducted a cross-border ‘surgical strike’ against ‘launch pads of terror’ in Azad Jammu and Kashmir ─ a claim Pakistan has strongly rejected.
Pakistan maintains India is attempting to divert the world’s attention away from ‘atrocities’ committed by government forces in India-held Kashmir.
Pakistan and India have locked horns over the Kashmir issue since Indian forces stepped up a crackdown against protesters after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed by government forces in Jul
courtesy: dawn news