ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and India on Tuesday hinted at lowering the current heightened tensions with a step-by-step approach leading to the resumption of the comprehensive dialogue process.
The understanding reached between the two neighbours following Indian High Commission Ajay Bisaria’s meeting with National Security Adviser Lt-Gen (retd) Nasser Khan Janjua.
It came just days after Islamabad and New Delhi agreed to resolve the controversy over harassment of diplomats through talks.
The Indian media quoted unnamed officials as saying that the breakthrough was reached only after Pakistani and Indian NSAs spoke on phone on March 26.
Despite simmering tensions, Ajit Doval and Gen Janjua remained in touch with each other to discuss thorny issues.
Although there was no official confirmation from either side of the NSA’s latest telephonic conversation, the Indian envoy’s meeting with Gen Janjua appeared to suggest a renewed push for defusing tensions.
The NSA office in a statement; however, insisted that the Indian envoy’s meeting with Gen Janjua was a ‘pre-planned, courtesy call.’
The official handout, nevertheless, acknowledged that the two discussed matters pertaining to improving bilateral relations — including the recent worsening situation in Occupied Kashmir.
The NSA welcomed the envoy and said, “Pakistan is pursuing a policy of friendly relations with all its neighbouring countries, including normalcy of relationship with India.”
“Pakistan is committed to resolving all outstanding issues through comprehensive dialogues,” he told Bisaria.
Gen Janjua used the meeting to convey serious concerns over the ongoing human rights violations in Occupied Kashmir.
“The use of force alone can lead us nowhere,” he stressed.
“It rather diminishes hope, injures society and further worsens the fragile situation,” he added.
“Pakistan is deeply committed to the cause of Kashmir and supports to resolve this issue politically and according to the aspirations of Kashmiri people.
“The process of dialogue is the only way forward to resolve our disputes. It is by way of peaceful resolution of our disputes which can enable both the countries to belong to the future,” he added.
The Indian high commissioner acknowledged that Pakistan and India definitely need to improve their bilateral relations and said, “both countries have immense potential to improve the relationship, and cater to each other’s needs”.
He also suggested taking ‘small steps’ for improving the bilateral relations, including the exchange of prisoners, visits of medical teams, and trade initiatives.
“We can build on these small steps between us and take the relationship towards normalcy to address bigger issues,” he added.
“Both the sides agreed to explore possibilities of more cooperation and of improving bilateral relations to ultimately take it towards the comprehensive process of dialogue,” the statement concluded.