ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz insisted that the Kashmir issue had not been sidelined despite the PM snubbing representatives of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference during his first visit to Inida.
Addressing a press briefing in Islamabad upon his return from India, Aziz said the meeting between the two premiers was ceremonious and Kashmir and other key issues were not on the agenda.
He emphasised that there was a clear recognition of each other’s concerns and that outcome of the meeting was much better than what the Pakistani delegation had expected.
Prime Minister Nawaz – along with his advisers – visited India to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Modi. The two leaders had a 50-minute long meeting the next day when they discussed a wide range of bilateral and regional issues.
Aziz, during the press conference today, said Prime Minister Nawaz had recalled the Lahore declaration during his meeting with Modi which calls on both the countries to intensify efforts for solving the Kashmir issue.
The advisor said Nawaz and Modi agreed that all the matters should be addressed through dialogue.
Commenting on the probe into the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, Aziz said the Pakistani delegation advised PM Modi to let the law take its course.
“No assurances were asked for in this regard and none were give,” he said categorically.
Modi had told Prime Minister Nawaz that the investigation into the attacks was slow and that the pace of the probe needed to be expedited.
On a question pointing out delays caused by India, Aziz said the issue was not discussed in detail and hence those points were not raised. He added that the slow progress in the Samjhauta Express bombing case was brought up during the meeting.
Aziz said both the leaders agreed dialogue was the right way to move forward and that the head of states and foreign secretaries should meet each other soon on mutually convenient dates.
“The composite dialogue started in 1998 and covers eight main issues facing Pakistan and India. But so much time has passed and many incidents have occurred; it is the job of the foreign secretaries to decide on how to move forward,” the adviser explained.
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