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India snubs Pakistan on Pak Army chief’s Kashmir proposal

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said that the onus is on Pakistan to create an environment free of terror, hostility and violence to resume talks to resolve the issue of Kashmir.
India on Thursday told Pakistan that any resumption of talks to resolve the issue of Kashmir can only take place if Pakistan shuns use of terrorism as an instrument of state policy.

“Our position is well known. India desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan in an environment free of terror, hostility and violence. The onus is on Pakistan for creating such an environment,” Anurag Srivastava, spokesperson at the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), said during his weekly briefing on Thursday.

The response was in wake of a proposal by Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s proposal to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir issue in a “dignified and peaceful manner” between India and Pakistan.

General Bajwa was speaking at the graduation ceremony at the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Asghar Khan Academy in Risalpur in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Tuesday.

He said, “Pakistan and India must resolve the longstanding issue of Jammu and Kashmir in a dignified and peaceful manner as per the aspirations of people of Jammu and Kashmir.”

Pakistan’s overtures come at a time when the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meeting, to be held this month, will be taking up the issue of whether Pakistan should remain on the grey list or should be let off. Pakistan needs to convince the international community that it is a country that is working towards peace. All recent actions of Islamabad against certain dreaded terrorists and terror networks are desired to that end.

Although, emphasis on resolving the Jammu and Kashmir issue by India and Pakistan in a peaceful manner is significant in the wake of Pakistan’s insistence on third-party mediation in the past.

“We stand firmly committed to the ideal of mutual respect and peaceful co-existence. It is time to extend a hand of peace in all directions,” he said.

India continues to maintain that there can be no bilateral engagement on the outstanding issues between the two countries unless the environment is conducive.

All important engagements and talks with Pakistan were stalled when the air force base in Pathankot was attacked by terrorists backed by Pakistan in 2016 followed by the dastardly attack on an Indian Army camp in Uri in September the same year.

 

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