Border flare-up: Pakistan, India can only gain through dialogue, says PM

ISLAMABAD: While Pakistani and Indian military officials are likely to establish contact through a ‘hotline’ on Tuesday (today) to discuss the ongoing border skirmishes, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Monday that the two neighbours ‘can only gain through dialogue’.
The developments come as Islamabad approached permanent members of the UN Security Council to persuade New Delhi to respect ceasefire and engage in ‘meaningful and serious dialogue.’
It is not clear at what level the two armies would interact but the move is significant in view of the worsening situation at the Line of Control (LoC) and Working Boundary over the past few days. In the past such contacts had helped ease tensions between the two nations.
However, defence sources said given the intensity of the ongoing clashes, it would take ‘much more’ than a contact through hotline for defusing the tensions. “It probably needs political intervention at the highest level,” commented one official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Premier Nawaz, meanwhile, told US Senators Tim Kaine and Angus King, both members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, that the UN Security Council resolutions must form the basis for any solution to the Kashmir issue and the people of Kashmir be made part of it.
He asked the UN to honour its own resolutions on the disputed Himalayan region that has bedeviled relations between Pakistan and India since the two countries got independence from the British colonial power in 1947. He added that the only acceptable solution of Kashmir would be the one which was endorsed by all parties, including Pakistan, India and Kashmiris.
Pakistan and India can only gain through dialogue, the premier said and expressed his disappointment over the cancellation of foreign secretary-level talks between the two countries which were scheduled for August.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, Foreign Secretary and Secretary to PM, Javed Aslam also attended the meeting. Earlier in the day Aziz briefed ambassadors of the permanent members of the UN Security Council on the prevailing situation on the LoC and Working Boundary.
According to a foreign ministry statement, Aziz voiced his concern over the ceasefire violations by India and said the ‘provocative’ statements by Indian leadership were not only a setback to peace efforts but also a distraction from Pakistan’s counter-terrorism commitments in the ongoing operation in North Waziristan Agency.
He expressed his disappointment at the fact that first the foreign secretary-level talks were cancelled, and later, India resorted to unprovoked firing and shelling on the LoC and Working Boundary resulting in many civilian casualties, injuries, and extensive damage to property.
Aziz informed the P-5 ambassadors about his letter to the UN Secretary General in which he has called upon the global body to play its due role towards defusing the prevailing situation, and monitoring of the ceasefire violations by the UNMOGIP, which possessed both the mandate and the infrastructure to play its important role.
He also called upon the P-5 countries to urge India to respect the ceasefire agreement and engage in a meaningful and serious dialogue.

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