Kashmir core dispute, needs to be resolved: Pakistan
Islamabad: Amid anger in New Delhi over the meeting between Pakistan prime minister`s foreign affairs advisor Sartaj Aziz and Kashmiri separatists, Islamabad Wednesday said it was customary for a Pakistani senior functionary to consult Kashmiri leaders as the Kashmir issue was the "core dispute" between the two countries that needs to be resolved.
"It is customary that when our foreign minister or foreign secretary goes to India for official commitment, they do consult Kashmiri leaders. This is not the first time that this has happened. This has been happening for as long as I remember," the spokesperson of Pakistan`s ministry of foreign affairs said during a press briefing.
"For us, this is an important activity. We believe that the Kashmir issue is the core dispute between the two countries that needs to be resolved."
"We further believe that the Kashmiri leadership ought to be associated with the dialogue process between India and Pakistan. We have always affirmed our moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people for their struggle to self-determine their destiny. That support will continue."
To a question on "repressive measures" by Indian forces in India-administered Jammu and Kashmir, he said: "Repression by Indian forces and human right violations in the Indian-occupied Kashmir are a matter of concern to us.
"Several human rights organisations have also reported on this aspect. The solution lies in finding a durable solution of the Kashmir issue by engaging in a meaningful dialogue between Pakistan and India."
On Tuesday, India`s External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid had voiced concern over the meeting between the Pakistan prime minister`s foreign affairs advisor Sartaj Aziz and Kashmiri separatists, including Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Yasin Malik, saying the move was "counterproductive" to holding dialogue.
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