World community should help settle Kashmir issue: Sartaj Aziz

Last Updated: Friday, August 30, 2013 - 23:53

Islamabad: Pakistan on Friday said the world community should play its role for resolving the Kashmir dispute as India`s insistence on settling the issue through bilateral talks has not produced results.

India has always insisted on solving this issue through bilateral talks, but so far these efforts have failed to produce any result, Pakistan`s Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz claimed.

The international community should fulfil its responsibility for resolving this outstanding issue for peace and stability in the region, Aziz said while making a statement on foreign policy in the National Assembly or lower house of Parliament.

Pakistan has tried to diffuse tension along the Line of Control but India has not reciprocated, Aziz was quoted as saying by state-run Radio Pakistan. He regretted the tensions.

Bilateral relations soured after five Indian soldiers were killed in an attack by Pakistani troops along the LoC earlier this month. Both sides have accused each other of violating the 2003 ceasefire on the LoC.

Aziz said Pakistan proposed a joint investigation of ceasefire violations on the LoC or a probe by an independent commission but India turned down the proposals.

Giving figures, Aziz said 11 Pakistanis, including eight army personnel, were killed and 31 injured in ceasefire violations on the LoC since January.

He also referred to Defence Minister AK Antony`s statement in Parliament after the August 06 killing of five Indian soldiers. Aziz said Antony first said that the killings were carried out by militants but changed his statement later.

Pakistan, he said, has called on India to observe the LoC ceasefire to reduce tension.
Referring to the situation in Afghanistan, Aziz said peace and stability in the war-torn country is vital for peace in Pakistan. The recent visit of Afghan President Hamid Karzai to Islamabad was successful and helped bring normalcy to ties.

Pakistan does not believe in interfering in the Afghanistan`s internal matters and it has no favourite group in the neighbouring country, he said.

He said Pakistan had supported the Qatar process and hoped that the dialogue will continue for peace and stability. He also said "regional countries will have to resist from interference in Afghanistan" for this purpose.

Speaking on relations with the US? Aziz said both countries have agreed to resume their strategic dialogue early next year. He expressed confidence that relations, which saw ups and downs in the recent past, will flourish in years to come.

Pakistan`s priority is to enhance trade and economic ties with the US as Islamabad is pursuing the policy of trade and not aid, he said.

Referring to US drone strikes, Aziz said these have resulted in loss of innocent lives and were against the sovereignty and integrity of Pakistan.

He pointed out that UN chief Ban Ki-moon had supported Pakistan`s stance on drone strikes.

Prime Minister Sharif, during his visit to the US next month, will raise the issue of drone strikes again with the Obama administration and seek the support of other countries, he said.

Expressing concern at the situation in Syria, Aziz said Pakistan wants the resolution of this problem through peaceful means. UN inspectors are currently in Syria to probe allegations about the use of chemical weapons and the world powers should wait for their report.

Condemning the use of chemical weapons in Syria, he said Pakistan rejects regime change through external means as any change should be decided by the Syrians themselves.

PTI



First Published: Friday, August 30, 2013 - 23:53

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