ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) on Tuesday maintained that dialogue between Pakistan and India is important for peace, economic development and welfare of the people of South Asia.
In response to a question with reference to the Indian Spokesperson’s remarks a day earlier regarding consultations with the Kashmiri leaders, Pakistan FO Spokesperson Tasneem Aslam said that Pakistan remains committed to a sustained, unconditional and result-oriented dialogue with India, to discuss all outstanding issues, including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
She went on to say that Pakistan firmly believes that the final disposition of the Jammu and Kashmir issue should be in accordance with the will of the Kashmiri people, to be determined through a free and impartial plebiscite under the UN auspices, as enshrined in relevant Security Council Resolutions.
Aslam further said Kashmiris are important stakeholders as they are the ones required to exercise their right to self-determination.
On Monday, the official spokesperson for India’s Ministry of External Affairs said that the government of India preferred to speak for itself.
The spokesperson replied in response to Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit’s statement that India had no objection to Hurriyat leaders being invited on Pakistan National Day.
The spokesperson went on to say that having repeated it on so many occasions there should be no scope for misunderstanding or misrepresenting India’s position on the role of the so called Hurriyat.
He added, “Let me reiterate there are only two parties and there is no place for a third party in resolution of India-Pakistan issues.”
He further said that the only way forward to proceed on all outstanding issues is a peaceful bilateral dialogue within the framework of Simla Agreement and Lahore Declaration.
Abdul Basit said on Monday that he didn’t think the Indian government had any objections to his meetings with Hurriyat leaders.
Down playing his meetings with Hurriyat leaders which have earlier been the cause for India cancelling foreign secretary-level talks, Basit said, “Don’t try to make an issue out of a non-issue.”