Aspirations of Kashmiris can't be ignored, suppressed: Pakistan

 In a veiled criticism of India, Pakistan on Wednesday said unilateralism and preconditions were a recipe for gridlock in relations and asserted that "aspirations of Kashmiris can neither be ignored nor suppressed" while describing the Kashmir dispute as the root cause of all bilateral problems.

PTI| Last Updated: Nov 18, 2015, 19:05 PM IST

New Delhi: In a veiled criticism of India, Pakistan on Wednesday said unilateralism and preconditions were a recipe for gridlock in relations and asserted that "aspirations of Kashmiris can neither be ignored nor suppressed" while describing the Kashmir dispute as the root cause of all bilateral problems.

Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit said his country had always wanted a normal relationship with India as peace was not only in the interest of the two countries but also in the interest of the region as a whole.

"Unilateralism and preconditions were a recipe for gridlock in inter-state relations," he said and expressed hope that "India would revisit its position as it defied logic to be locked in a perpetual conflictual relationship."

The Pakistan envoy was addressing the Federation of Indian Exporters Organisation (FIEO) here, a release by the Pakistan High Commission here said.

Delving on the reasons that did not allow the two neighbours to bring mutual hostility to an end, Basit said, "The root cause of all the bilateral problems was the longstanding Jammu and Kashmir dispute," and emphasised that "aspirations of Kashmiris can neither be ignored nor suppressed; the sooner it is realised the better it would be".

Basit's comments come days after his Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif writing to the leader of women separatist outfit Dukhtaran-e-Millat Asiya Indrabi, praising her role and pledging "moral, political and diplomatic" support of his government.

In September, Pakistan, had cancelled scheduled NSA-level talks after accusing India of putting preconditions including disapproving Pakistan's National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz's invitation to Kashmiri Hurriyat leadership for a meeting.

On the economic relations, the envoy said economic ties are bound to hit snags perennially in an unpredictable political environment.

Asserting that there was huge potential between the two countries, he said, nevertheless, it was necessary to have a level playing field with a view to make trade mutually beneficial.

"Non-tariff barriers on the Indian side were adversely affecting Pakistan's exports to India," Basit alleged.