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Pakistan wooing Indians opposed to Modi’s extremist policies: Sartaj Aziz

Islamabad: Pakistan has set up a high-level committee to formulate “a doable and sustainable” policy to highlight the Kashmir issue globally and is reaching out to Indians who are opposed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “extremist policies”, according to a media report on Wednesday.

The move was announced by Pakistan Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz in Senate on Tuesday, according to Dawn newspaper.

The committee will consist of senior officials from the ministries of defence, interior and information, Military Operations Directorate, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Intelligence Bureau (IB).

Speaking about the status of the implementation of policy guidelines, Aziz said the committee was headed by Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry and could co-opt other members if required.

Aziz said that another committee, chaired by the information secretary, had been formed to prepare fact sheets “to counter India’s propaganda campaign and design a media strategy to continuously highlight the Kashmiri freedom struggle”.

This committee also includes representatives from the ministries of defence, foreign affairs and information technology, as well as members of the Military Operations Directorate, ISI and IB.

Aziz said that the Ministry of Information Technology had been asked to prepare a comprehensive strategy to highlight the Kashmir issue via social media.

He said that “steps were being taken to highlight Indian interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs, as well as its support for subversive activities and human rights violations in held Kashmir”, the report said.

Aziz said that steps were already being taken to reach out to segments of the Indian public that were opposed to Modi’s extremist policies.

“Our missions abroad, including in New Delhi, are making outreach efforts to emphasise the extremist Indian policies,” he remarked.

Talking about measures to counter India’s efforts to isolate Pakistan in the region, Aziz said Pakistan was doing its utmost to engage the international community, including regional partners.

He said Pakistan was supportive of all initiatives for peace and stability in the region, adding that this commitment to regional peace and stability was evident from the decision to participate in the Heart of Asia ministerial conference in Amritsar, despite the postponement of SAARC summit in Islamabad because of India.

Pakistan’s nuclear doctrine, he said, was clearly spelt out and due restraint was being exercised.

“Pakistan continues to exhibit maturity and statesmanship despite provocative statements by Indian leadership and the continued ceasefire violations across the LoC and working boundary having resulted in civilian casualties,” he said.

He said there was a need for a positive response from India to move forward. He said that while Pakistan always conveyed a desire to resolve all outstanding issues through dialogue, India had chosen to attach conditions to the talks.

PTI