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Breakthrough likely only after Indian polls: Sartaj Aziz

PTI | Last Updated: Saturday, January 4, 2014 - 18:03

Islamabad: Any breakthrough on outstanding issues between India and Pakistan, including Kashmir and Siachen, can be expected only after the Indian elections, Prime Minister`s Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said on Saturday.

Back channel talks are being held on issues like Kashmir Sir Creek and Siachen as it is Pakistan`s "utmost endeavour" to improve relations with India, Aziz told state-run Radio Pakistan.
The composite dialogue is facing delays due to upcoming polls in India but groups handling trade energy and the visa regime are conducting negotiations, he said.

"Back channel talks are continuing with India on the issues of Kashmir Sir Creek and Siachen," he said.

Pakistan has appointed former Foreign Secretary Shehryar Khan as its point man for back channel talks and his Indian counterpart is former envoy S K Lambah.

Now when India is heading for elections peace on the Line of Control (LoC) and continuation of talks is necessary to avoid any tensions in bilateral relations, he added.

Aziz described the Kashmir dispute as a very important issue whose resolution is imperative for improving Pakistan-India relations.

Several countries had realised the importance of peace between the two sides and "are now evincing interest in the Kashmir dispute", he claimed.
Aziz further said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had invited his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh to visit Pakistan. "Though there is less possibility of his visit, but if he wishes to visit Islamabad in the next few weeks we will definitely welcome him," he said.

Singh yesterday expressed hope of visiting Pakistan in the next four months and said circumstances were "not appropriate" for a visit so far.
Pakistan is keen to resume the composite dialogue with India, which was called off after an Indian soldier was decapitated in January last year along the LoC.

First Published: Saturday, January 4, 2014 - 13:59

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