India lacks clarity on its ties with Pakistan: Foreign Office

Islamabad: Pakistan on Thursday described its relationship with India as “difficult” and said New Delhi lacked clarity in its policy on ties with Islamabad which is slowing down progress on resolving bilateral issues.  Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s letter to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in September 2018 laid down a clear roadmap for starting negotiations with India but it agreed to it one day and reneged the next day.

India has made it clear to Pakistan that cross-border terrorism and talks cannot go hand-in-hand. He also accused India of lacking clarity in policy on Pakistan.  “If there is lack of clarity, confusion or haze in policy, it is on the Indian side and only they can shed light on it.” He also said India’s vague policy was clear when it sent ministers for the opening ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor and claimed next day that the visit was personal.

“We have a clear policy, as articulated by the Prime Minister’s letter. We cannot have a clearer policy on India than the one we have now.” “Work continues actively on the Kartarpur Corridor on the Pakistan side. The construction of the bridge over the Ravi River is underway. The topographical and hydrological surveys have been completed,” he said.  He alleged that an official of the Pakistan High Commission was detained by Indian authorities on baseless charges and forced to sign a note.

To a question that India was not giving visas to showbiz people from Pakistan, he said, “there is no such bar from our side” and Pakistan was providing visas to Indian nationals who wanted to participate in cultural and religious activities in Pakistan.  He also claimed that there was lack of progress on proposals to India about exchange of prisoners who are less than 17 or older than 65 years and visit of the Joint Judicial Commission because India was not willing to engage with Pakistan.

All these issues needed to be resolved through diplomatic channels based on the agreement between both countries, Faisal said.  “Had India replied positively to our offer for negotiations, these issues could have been resolved. We have a difficult relationship with India. There is very slow progress on these issues. Our efforts are ongoing,” he said.

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