ISLAMABAD: Days after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi shook hands at the Saarc summit in what was believed to be a sign of thawing relations, the prime minister’s senior aide said on Tuesday that the dialogue process with India has not moved forward.
Addressing the inaugural session of 30th annual general meeting and conference of Pakistan Institute of Development Economics in Islamabad, Sartaj Aziz affirmed Pakistan desires relations with India on a basis of mutual respect and does not want tensions along its border, Radio Pakistan reported.
“The dialogue process has not moved forward with India since the installation of Narendra Modi’s government. The resumption of dialogue will help build confidence between the two sides,” Aziz affirmed.
Lamenting India’s unilateral decision to cancel foreign secretary-level talks which were due in August this year, the adviser to the prime minister on national security and foreign affairs echoed the premier’s earlier remarks and reiterated, “The onus now lies with it (India) to take the initiative for resumption of dialogue with Pakistan.”
Upon arrival in Kathmandu on November 25, PM Nawaz responding to a question regarding a bilateral meeting with Modi said, “The ball is in India’s court to initiate bilateral talks.”
India had snapped talks in protest at a meeting of Pakistan’s high commissioner in New Delhi with leaders from Indian Kashmir.
Disappointed over New Delhi linking the Kashmir dispute with terrorism, Aziz said it is diverting attention from the real issue.
“Kashmiris are fighting for their right to self-determination while Pakistan is only politically supporting them to raise this issue at the international level.”
He added the premier raised the Kashmir dispute at the UN General Assembly session to attract international attention.
Aziz expressed confidence that the international community would pay attention towards resolution of this outstanding issue, including human rights violations in the area.
Responding to a question regarding the London Conference on Afghanistan, which the premier is attending, Aziz said Pakistan is playing a vital role in development of infrastructure in Afghanistan.
“Therefore, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been extended a special invitation by the British Prime Minister to attend the moot, which will discuss the development and financial needs of the country.”