Sunday Dec 04, 2016
AMRITSAR: Pakistan's High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit on Sunday said that the issue of Kashmir must be resolved according to the wishes of Kashmiris, adding that the issue is the root cause of tensions between Indian and Pakistan.
Talking to the media on the sidelines of Heart of Asia conference in Amritsar, he said that that peace cannot prevail in South Asia without the resolution of Kashmir dispute.
“Pakistan has always favoured talks but we want them on equal terms” he added.
Terming Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz meeting positive, he said that Pakistan was making integrated efforts to eliminate terrorism
Basit said that joint statement of Heart of Asia conference was a positive development. However, hurling accusations on Pakistan will not stop bloodshed and violence in Afghanistan.
He said that the entire leadership of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) was in Afghanistan and Afghanistan authorities along with other countries must stop them.
He further said that all involved countries must work together to eliminate terrorism in the region.
Earlier, Sartaj Aziz said concerted action is needed for peaceful resolution of regional conflicts and “blame games” will not help toward achieving peace.
Aziz said peaceful resolution of unresolved conflicts would boost regional cooperation and communication.
Eluding to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s allegations that Pakistan was giving “sanctuary” to terrorists, Aziz said concerted policy and action, not blame games, are needed to establish peace in Afghanistan. Such blame games will not bring peace to Afghanistan, he said.
Aziz said that Pakistan's attendance at the Conference, despite escalating tensions with India, shows Pakistan's resolve to establish peace in Afghanistan and the overall region.
On Sunday, Indian Prime Minister and Afghan President jointly inaugurated the two-day summit being attended by around 40 foreign ministers and dignitaries of 14 participating countries in Indian city of Amritsar.
The Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process was launched in 2011 with the objective to boost economic and security cooperation.
Its members include Afghanistan, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and the United Arab Emirates.
The initiative has the support of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, Finland, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Britain and the United States.