No back-channel diplomacy underway between India, Pakistan: Hina Rabbani Khar

Khar said that back channel diplomacy must take place if it is fruitful

Islamabad: Minister of State on Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar on Thursday dismissed claims of backdoor diplomacy with India stating that at this stage, no dialogue was taking place between the two countries, reported Geo News.

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Her response came after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Senator, Faisal Javed Khan asked whether Islamabad has changed its policy vis-a-vis New Delhi.

“At this stage, no dialogue is taking place between Pakistan and India,” she categorically stated while speaking during a question hour session in the Senate.

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Khar said that back channel diplomacy must take place if it is fruitful but “no backdoor diplomacy is currently taking place with India,” reported Geo News.

However, Khar stressed Pakistan’s keenness toward the establishment of peace. She described the opening of Kartarpur Corridor as a positive precedent saying such processes must move forward, reported Geo News.

“Pakistan wouldn’t want bloodshed anywhere,” she said, adding that incidents of hostility on the Line of Control have reduced.

The minister further stated that no talks have taken place with India on trade either, reported Geo News.

Earlier in August 2022, Union Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said that there has not been any progress between India and Pakistan since 2019 regarding the resumption of trade.

On being asked whether there has been any progress concerning the resumption of trade ties with Pakistan since 2019, the minister in his written response to Rajya Sabha in his written response in Rajya Sabha said: “In August 2019, Pakistan announced the suspension of bilateral trade with India. Pakistan partially relaxed its ban on trade with India in September 2019 by permitting trade in certain pharmaceutical products. There has not been any progress regarding resumption of trade with Pakistan since then.”

In June, Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari emphasized the country’s interest in trade and engagement with India saying that Pakistan was isolated on the world stage due to past policies.

Notably, earlier PM Shehbaz in an interview with Dubai-based Al Arabiya TV, Sharif said that Pakistan has learned its lesson after three wars with India and stressed that now it wants peace with its neighbour.

“My message to the Indian leadership and Prime Minister Modi is that let’s sit down at the table and have serious and sincere talks to resolve our burning points like Kashmir. It is up to us to live peacefully and make progress or quarrel with each other and waste time and resources,” Sharif said.

In an interview with a Dubai-based Arabic news channel, Pakistan’s Prime Minister said, “We have had three wars with India, and they have only brought more misery, poverty, and unemployment to the people. We have learned our lesson, and we want to live in peace with India.”

Pakistan, which is battling a severe economic crisis, public discontent against the ruling regime due to flour crisis and fuel shortage among others is also faced with rising instances of terror attacks by the proscribed outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which had ended a ceasefire with the country’s security forces late last year.

Meanwhile, India has formally sent invitations to all members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) including Pakistan for the upcoming foreign ministers’ meeting and invited Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto, which will be held in Goa from May 4-5.

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