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Pak accuses India of avoiding resumption of bilateral talks

Last Updated: Thursday, December 23, 2010 - 21:46

Islamabad: Pakistan on Thursday accused India
of avoiding the resumption of the bilateral dialogue process
that was stalled in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks
and "cherry-picking" the issues that it is willing to discuss.

Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit made the remarks
while responding to a question during the weekly news briefing
on Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna`s reported
comment that Pakistan was responsible for the failure of talks
held in July.

"India knows well who is responsible for the current
impasse. It is India which is resorting to cherry-picking and
avoiding to resume the dialogue process on all issues. India
is also upset about our Foreign Minster`s raising the Jammu
and Kashmir dispute in his statement at the UN General
Assembly session," Basit said.

Responding to reported comments by Indian leaders that
Pakistan had made the Kashmir issue central to all
negotiations, Basit said Islamabad could not afford to ignore
alleged human rights violations by Indian security forces in
the disputed Himalayan region.

"Let me reiterate that Pakistan is ready to resume the
dialogue process as soon as possible but not to the exclusion
of the Kashmir dispute or other important issues... It is
difficult to explain as to how a country that indulges in
grisly human rights violations and suppresses the inalienable
rights of Kashmiris can claim to be the world`s largest
democracy," he said.

Replying to another question on the absence of a
reference to Kashmir in the joint statement issued following
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao`s recent visit to Pakistan, Basit
said Beijing had always supported Islamabad on the Kashmir
issue and backed the dialogue between Pakistan and India to
peacefully resolve the dispute.

Pakistan and India, Basit said, need to discuss "all
the issues that continue to bedevil our relations" and
Islamabad has not sought the resumption of talks only on the
Kashmir issue.

"There is no denying that the Kashmir dispute is the
core issue between our two countries. Had this issue been
resolved 60 years ago, Pakistan-India relations would have
been on a different trajectory. But since this is a core issue
Pakistan cannot agree to any negotiations which do not include
this dispute as an agenda item," he said.

Basit reiterated the allegation that India is using
terrorism as a "propaganda ploy" against Pakistan though the
world community had acknowledged the country`s contributions
in counter-terrorism.

At the same time, he urged India to share with
Pakistan the findings of its investigation into the attack on
the Samjhauta Express train that killed 42 Pakistanis. "India`s continued reticence on Samjhauta Express
raises many questions. It is time India takes us into
confidence and stops beating about the bush," Basit said.

In response to another question about top world
leaders calling on Pakistan to do more against terrorism,
Basit said the country had conveyed its concerns in this
regard to France, Britain and Germany.

"We hope that these important countries...will
understand the true perspective of the issues in this region
because terrorism is a global phenomenon and all countries
need to cooperate to address this issue effectively rather
than indulging in blame game just for commercial and political
expediencies," he said.


First Published: Thursday, December 23, 2010 - 21:46

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