ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday said that there can be no result-oriented discussions with India unless New Delhi revisits its Kashmir policy.
Speaking at a weekly news briefing, Foreign Office spokesperson Abdul Basit said that India needed to take a fresh look at its Kashmir policy and do some introspection. “Unless India stops treating Jammu and Kashmir as its integral part and stops harping on seeking a solution within the Indian Constitution, we do not believe that we can have any meaningful or result-oriented discussions with India.”
His remarks come ahead of a likely meeting between Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his Indian counterpart SM Krishna in New York at the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session. Islamabad, according to the spokesperson, has yet to take a final decision on the meeting though.
“The possibilities of such a meeting are still being explored through diplomatic channels and there is no decision as yet,” he said.
Speaking about Qureshi visiting India later this year, he said that it would depend on whether India took a fresh look at its Kashmir policy. “The visit would obviously predicate on whether India agrees to a comprehensive and sustained dialogue with Pakistan. As our foreign minister has said on many occasions, it is important that rather than meeting for photo-op sessions, we get down to business and try to normalise our relations,” he said.
Replying to a question, the spokesperson dismissed the concerns expressed by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on civilian nuclear cooperation between Pakistan and China. “Our civil nuclear cooperation with China is in accordance with our respective international obligations under relevant International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards. Objections, if any, are therefore incongruent,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th, 2010.