Islamabad: Pakistan today said it was “unfortunate” that it is an election issue in India, a day after BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi raised the issue of cross-border terrorism.
“You know that this is elections season in India and unlike Pakistan where India is not an election issue, in India, Pakistan becomes an election issue unfortunately,” Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said at her weekly press conference.
“As regards the allegation, we condemn terrorism. We are ourselves victims of terrorism which has its roots in the events in our region over the last 30 years,” Aslam said.
Modi, addressing a BJP meeting in Jammu yesterday, targeted Defence Minister A K Antony and Arvind Kejriwal, calling them “agents of Pakistan and enemy of India” and speaking its language.
Pakistan today also reiterated that Kashmir was “not an internal affair” of India.
When asked about Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif seeking a third party involvement in settling the Kashmir issue, she said it is one of the oldest disputes on UN Security Council agenda.
“The UN has an observer mission here – United Nations Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP). The Under Secretary General of UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations recently visited Pakistan and he also went to the Line of Control. So, there is no denying the fact that it is an internationally recognised dispute” she said.
Aslam said the choice the two countries have is to move like other regions towards developing good neighborly relations, forging economic ties, increasing people to people contact so that the people in this region can benefit from regional trade, economic cooperation and connectivity.
“People in region also deserve to reap the benefits of economic cooperation. It is, therefore, important that Pakistan and India resolve this dispute through dialogue,” she said.
The spokesperson said what Prime Minister Sharif essentially said in The Hague is that if there is reluctance on the Indian side to resolve this issue bilaterally, “our common friends can help convince India to come to the negotiating table.”
“It’s not an internal affair of India,” Aslam said.
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