Avoid delaying tactics on Kashmir: Pak PM to India
Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said India should "avoid delaying tactics" while working for the resolution of the Kashmir issue.
Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Tuesday said India should "avoid delaying tactics" while working for the resolution of the Kashmir issue.
"We hope that India, while respecting the UN Resolutions, will avoid delaying tactics in giving the right to self-determination to Kashmiris," Ashraf said in his speech at an official event marking Pakistan`s Independence Day.
He was addressing a gathering that included ministers, lawmakers, service chiefs and diplomats.
The premier reiterated Pakistan`s stance that the Kashmir issue should be resolved in line with UN Resolutions and the aspirations of the Kashmiris.
"We will continue political, diplomatic and moral support to the people of Kashmir," he said.
At the same time, he said, Pakistan wants good and cordial relations with India for the sake of peace and prosperity in the region.
Pakistan desires to resolve all disputes, including the Kashmir issue, through understanding and dialogue, he said.
"In our view, talks are the best way of resolving issues. We have started trade relations with India so that both countries are benefited from each other`s comparative advantage," he said.
Describing the normalisation of trade relations as an "important breakthrough", Ashraf said this measure "has cleared the way for durable friendship between the people of the two countries".
The premier dwelt at length on the country`s foreign policy, including relations with key powers like China and the US, with whom Pakistan is working to restore bilateral ties to an even keel following a string of crises like the unilateral military raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad last year.
"We want to maintain our ties with the US and the European Union states on the basis of mutual respect. Due to our sincere efforts, Pakistan`s relations with the US and EU states are heading in a positive direction," he said.
"We have impressed upon the US that Pakistan will not compromise on its sovereignty and integrity and it considers drone attacks an interference in its sovereignty. We prefer trade over aid," Ashraf said.
The people`s representatives had been included in shaping foreign policy for the first time so that the government`s actions reflected the aspirations of the people, he said.
The decision to reopen supply lines to Afghanistan after a seven-month blockade due to a NATO air strike was made in accordance with Parliament`s recommendations, he pointed out.
Ashraf explained that his government did not want to cause uncertainty among NATO countries, which include Islamic countries, and that there was a fear of damage to the war against terrorism in Afghanistan due to the closure of the supply routes.
Pakistan`s decision to reopen the supply routes will promote national interests, improve relations with the NATO and prove helpful in increasing resistance against terrorism, Ashraf said.
The premier further said Pakistan now prefers signed agreements instead of verbal ones with the US and had recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the transit of NATO supplies through Pakistani soil.
On the issue of Afghanistan, Ashraf said: "We stand shoulder to shoulder with our Afghan brothers at every critical juncture and are playing the role of a flag-bearer in efforts to maintain peace in Afghanistan".
Pakistan wants a durable solution to the Afghan issue that has the full backing of the Afghan people, he added.
"Pakistan`s peace and stability is linked with peace and stability in Afghanistan and it is in the common interest of both countries to resolve the Afghan issue as early as possible and in a peaceful way," he said.
Ashraf described China as a close and trustful friend and said the relations between the two countries were an important pillar of Pakistan`s foreign policy.