Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called an emergency meeting with foreign ministry officials on Thursday, stressing that it is ‘imperative for both India and Pakistan to take effective steps to ensure and restore the ceasefire across the Line of Control’.
Expressing sadness after being briefed by the ministry officials over the recent exchange of fire across the LoC, the prime minister noted that the recent incidents have both set back the normalisation process between Pakistan and India and led to the loss of precious human lives.
He emphasised that while military-to-military channels between Pakistan and India existed, they could be utilised more optimally to prevent misunderstandings in the future and keep the situation from escalating further. The premier added that Pakistan is prepared to discuss measures to further strengthen existing mechanisms, both at the military and political level, with India.
“The leaderships of both India and Pakistan have a responsibility to make sure the situation does not worsen further and to take steps to improve the atmosphere between the two nations by engaging each other constructively, with a view to build trust and confidence,” Premier Nawaz observed. The prime minister also said he was looking forward to his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh next month, at the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. He added that he would discuss steps to further strengthen trust between India and Pakistan, and to consolidate the two countries’ relationship during his meeting with his Indian counterpart.
“Pakistan will persist in its efforts to improve relations with India through constructive dialogue on all issues,” he said.
Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid‚ Adviser to Prime Minister on National Security Sartaj Aziz‚ Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi and senior officials of the Foreign Office and Prime Minister’s Office attended the briefing as well.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2013.