Free Press Journal

Pak ready for talks but Kashmir must be included: Aziz Sartaj


Pakistani national security adviser Sartaj Aziz speaks at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington on January 28, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM

Islamabad: Pakistan is ready for a dialogue with India on the condition that Kashmir dispute is part of it, Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz told Parliament today, ahead of his visit to Amritsar for a conference on Afghanistan.

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Speaking in the National Assembly during a debate on the LoC situation, Aziz said Pakistan is fully capable to defend its border and will not accept any “Indian influence or hegemony” under any circumstances.

“We are ready for dialogue with India on the condition that Kashmir dispute is also included in it,” he said.

Aziz, will be travelling to Amritsar next week to attend the Heart of Asia Conference.

On the diplomatic front, Aziz said Pakistan is forcefully raising the Kashmir dispute at all international forums.

“Pakistan will continue to support the Kashmiris right to self-determination which is totally indigenous and led by the Kashmiri youth,” he said.

“We would continue extending political, diplomatic and moral support to them (Kashmiris) on international and bilateral forums,” he said.

Aziz asserted that Pakistan will give a befitting response to any Indian “aggression”. He claimed that India is “heating up the situation” on the Line of Control to deflect attention from its “atrocities” in Kashmir.

Aziz said Pakistan has written letters to the Foreign Ministers of P-5 countries to apprise them about alleged Indian “aggression” on the civilians.

He claimed Pakistan has never targeted civilians but the Indian side is “deliberately” targeting them.

Aziz said Pakistan, however, will continue to pursue the policy of peaceful neighbourhood.

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, in his remarks, said Pakistan’s armed forces are fully prepared to defend the country.

Khawaja claimed that several “movements for independence” were going on in India and it cannot afford the “success of Kashmir freedom movement” as it will be the end of that country.

“If the Kashmir movement reaches its logical conclusion, the other movements there will also achieve success. This will be the undoing of Indian state,” he said.

Also Read: Pakistan not desperate to talk to India- Sartaj Aziz

Asif also alleged that India was supporting terrorism in Pakistan.

“We have unambiguous evidence about Indian interference in our territory and dossiers in this regard have been presented before the world community,” he said.

Several other lawmakers from treasury and opposition benches took part in the debate. They criticised India for what they called “blatant violation of human rights in Kashmir and violation of ceasefire on the LoC.”

The opposition also criticised the Pakistan government for allegedly failing to respond in kind to Indian firing across the LoC and failure to highlight the Kashmir issue on international fora.