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Pakistan regrets India’s rejection of ‘discuss Kashmir’ proposal

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Islamabad: Pakistan on Friday “regretted” India’s virtual rejection of its proposal for talks on Kashmir even as it briefed the ambassadors of the P-5 and European Union countries about the situation there in yet another attempt to internationalise the issue.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz briefed the Ambassadors of the Permanent Members of the UN Security Council — China, France, Russia, the UK and the US — and the European Union — here about the alleged “killings and serious human rights violations” being committed in Kashmir, a Foreign Office statement said.

While regretting “the refusal from the Indian side” to hold talks on Kashmir, Aziz also briefed the ambassadors over the exchange of letters between Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry and his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar.

Pakistan’s move came after India hardened its stance further and once again virtually rejected Pakistan’s latest invitation for talks on Kashmir, saying it is willing to discuss cross-border terrorism which was its “core concern”.

Replying to his Pakistani counterpart Chaudhry’s fresh invitation of August 19 to visit Islamabad by the end of this month to discuss Kashmir dispute, Jaishankar had said in a letter he was willing to discuss terrorism emanating from Pakistan’s territory which was India’s core concern.

At his meeting with the ambassadors, Aziz “deplored the lethal use of force by the Indian forces against the innocent Kashmiri people and conveyed serious concerns over the bloodshed” in Kashmir which has taken a “toll of more than 80 innocent Kasmiris since July 8, 2016, and inflicted injuries on more than 7,000 people,” the Foreign Office statement said.

Aziz stated that the international community, especially the permanent members of the UN Security Council and the European Union have an important role to uphold the principles of human rights and international humanitarian law. He urged them to fulfil their commitments to the people of Jammu and Kashmir under the UN Security Council resolutions.

“The Adviser said that Pakistan welcomes the UN Secretary General’s offer and would be ready to engage in a dialogue to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute,” the statement said.

“The P-5 and EU Ambassadors stressed the need to resolve the issue peacefully. They also acknowledged the importance of dialogue to address this long standing issue and the prevailing grave situation,” it said.

The war of words between the two nations comes amid a strain in bilateral ties over the continuing unrest in Kashmir with Islamabad issuing provoking statements on the turmoil following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani last month.

Wani was hailed as a martyr by Pakistan, which also tried to internationalise the Kashmir issue with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the country’s foreign office writing to a host of countries besides the United Nations, while India has been maintaining that Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in the Valley is the root cause of the turbulence.
PTI

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