Regional peace: Pakistan welcomes Russia’s mediation offer on Kashmir

FO says incidents of firing from Indian border forces have raised concern among regional countries and US


News Desk June 15, 2017
In this file photo, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with Russian President Vladimir Putin. PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan on Thursday said it would welcome Russian mediation to defuse the simmering tensions with its arch-rival India as well as to resolve the longstanding Kashmir dispute.

Speaking at a weekly news briefing, Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said there was growing realisation and concern among regional countries as well as the United States of the threat to peace in the region due to India’s unprovoked firing along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary.

“The Indian attempts to distract the world attention from the brutalities its occupation forces have unleashed on unarmed Kashmiris in occupied Kashmir have endangered peace and security in the sub-continent and beyond,” he said.

Responding to reports that Russian President Viladmir Putin, during his recent meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, offered to mediate between Islamabad and New Delhi, the spokesperson said, “Pakistan welcomes UNSC Permanent Member Russia’s attention and intention to play a role in this longstanding issue on the UNSC agenda.”

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He reiterated Pakistan’s belief that an Afghan owned and Afghan led political settlement was imperative for restoring long-lasting peace in the neighbouring country. He rejected a military solution to the Afghan conflict, saying the country had been in a war-like situation for the last 40 years.

“Pakistan has suffered tremendously due to the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan,” said Zakaria, adding that the lingering instability in Afghanistan had given space to state and non-state actors to establish their foothold in the war-torn country.

On reports that China was making efforts to mediate between Pakistan and Afghanistan, he said both Beijing and Islamabad were engaged with Kabul through bilateral and other forums to find a political solution to the Afghan conflict.

He said efforts were being made to revive the four-nation initiative involving Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and the United States. He described the recent meeting between Premier Sharif and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on the sidelines of the SCO summit as positive and constructive.

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Meanwhile, the Foreign Office spokesperson said India's contention to strike out Pakistan's claim to the funds transferred by the State of Hyderabad to the account of the Pakistan high commissioner to the UK in September 1948 had been dismissed last year.

Answering a query, he said the English judge has now issued a side procedural ruling on the costs issues. He said the judge had confirmed that Pakistan won on all its main arguments and had reserved costs to the end of the hearing “which is a standard order”.

“On the costs issue, which has been argued separately, it was decided that the financial claims made by India and other parties were not time-barred. These are a tiny fraction of the overall costs which Pakistan may recover at the end of the process, if successful,” he explained.

COMMENTS (6)

Alien1 | 5 years ago | Reply Fake news, this has already been denied by Russia.
Luminous | 5 years ago | Reply Russians have denied this news of mediation
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