Free Press Journal

Pak offers to hold talks with India on longstanding issues


Mamnoon Hussain

Islamabad: Pakistan today offered to hold bilateral talks with India to resolve the Kashmir issue and other longstanding disputes, as President Mamnoon Hussain said his country wants peaceful coexistence with all neighbours, but would thwart any threats to its security. “Pakistan wants to resolve all longstanding disputes with India, including Kashmir, through dialogue,” the President said, addressing a gathering of civilian and military officials at a function here to mark the country’s 69th Independence Day.

The offer for bilateral talks came as Pakistan yesterday announced to send its National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz to New Delhi on August 23 for the first-ever NSA-level talks between the two countries.

The confirmation for the NSA talks by Pakistan comes amid simmering tensions following terror attacks in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir and incidents of ceasefire violations resulting in causalities, prompting strong diplomatic protests from both sides.

Addressing the gathering, the President said, “Pakistan desires peaceful coexistence with all the neighbouring countries, including India, but any threat to our security will be thwarted.” “We will not compromise if there is any threat to our territorial sovereignty,” he said.

Apparently referring to firing incidents along the LoC, he regretted the recent “acts of aggression” on the eastern borders the country shares with India. He said the government is pursuing a “bold and effective” foreign policy as a result of which its image has improved in the comity of nations.

Stating that Pakistan is in the midst of a war against terrorism, he said, “Terrorists and those working on the agenda of foreign enemies are trying to sabotage the peace in the country.” The President said that there were some “undesirable incidents” trying to destabilise the country and that the “action is being taken against negative, destructive elements which have tried to harm the unity of Pakistan.”

“The government and the armed forces have launched a robust campaign against them, which has started showing positive results,” Hussain said, asserting that the campaign against terrorists will continue till the elimination of the menace. The President said, “The entire nation stands by the government and the armed forces in this war against terrorists who are on the run.” He hoped that this problem will be overcome “in a short span of time.”