Free Press Journal

‘Pakistan ready to work with next Indian PM after polls’


Islamabad: Pakistan today underlined the need for resumption of dialogue process with India to address all issues and said it was ready to work with whoever people of India elect as their next Prime Minister.

Asked by a Pakistani journalist as to how BJP leader Narendra Modi will address issues related to Pakistan in case he becomes the new Prime Minister, Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said: “Well, I am not in the business of reading minds. We deal with countries. “It’s for the people of India to elect whoever they deem fit. We will take it from there.”

Replying to another query on Pakistan’s position on Article 370, which BJP has promised to do away with, Aslam said, “India’s constitution is India’s internal matter. We have a position on Jammu and Kashmir because Pakistan is a recognised and legitimate party to this dispute.”

The spokesperson, who was addressing her weekly press conference, said, Pakistan has a framework with India which has an eight point agenda.

She said: “This process has been disrupted for the last three years. We believe that to have sustainable and durable peace, we need to address all the issues and disputes that stand between Pakistan and India having normal, good neighbourly relations and having peace and cooperation in the region.

“We look forward to the resumption of that process so that people of this region can benefit from economic cooperation and we can focus on our economic development.”

Pakistan is keen to resume the composite dialogue with India, which was called off after an Indian soldier was decapitated in January last year along the LoC.

Aslam said Pakistan wants to expand ties with all its neighbours.

Meanwhile, Aslam said Pakistan’s relations with the Russian Federation have been on a very positive trajectory and added that both countries have deepened their engagement.

“We have a number of projects in the economic domain. There have been political level contacts as well. Our Foreign Secretary visited Russia last year which produced very good interactions. A senior Russian Minister has also visited Pakistan in last six months.     ”

Earlier, the Pakistan Navy fleet paid a port call. There were some issues regarding claims and counter claims in the trade and economic domain. A high level committee has been constituted to address this issue. Once that is done, we expect to see a great leap in our bilateral relationship,” she said.