Islamabad: Pakistan today raked up Kashmir as the “core issue” with India which should be resolved according to the aspirations of Kashmiris and with the intervention of world powers.
Sartaj Aziz, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security, described the Kashmir dispute as the “core issue” between the two countries.
The issue should be resolved as per the aspirations of Kashmiris, he was quoted as saying by state-run media. He said world powers should come forward and play their role in resolving the issue.
Aziz’s remarks came two days after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif invited India to engage in a “comprehensive, sustained and result-oriented” dialogue with Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir issue.
Addressing a session of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir’s assembly, Sharif said the region will remain in the grip of “mistrust and tension” as long as the dispute is not resolved according to the aspirations of the Kashmiri people.
Aziz further said Pakistan wants good relations with its neighbours to boost the country’s economy. The government wants trade and not aid, as it believes only in trade.
Improving the economy is linked to peace in the region and the government is taking many steps to maintain it, he said.
Though Pakistan has repeatedly tried to involve the world community in settling the Kashmir issue, India has maintained it is a bilateral matter as agreed to by Pakistan in the Simla Agreement, signed after the 1971 war between the two sides.
According to the pact, both countries agreed to “the peaceful resolution of all issues through direct bilateral approaches” and to “uphold the inviolability of the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir”.
However, Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam yesterday said the Simla Agreement could not supersede earlier UN resolutions on Kashmir.