Pakistan drums Kashmir, says no breakthrough in talks with India

Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhury

Days after the foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan held talks in an attempt to revive the stalled dialogue process, Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry pushed for a result-oriented dialogue with India, but stressed that there was no breakthrough in talks with his Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar on his recent trip to New Delhi. “I would not say there is a breakthrough, but we conveyed our concerns forthrightly,” Mr Chaudhry said. He added that Islamabad has highlighted the need for a structured, “result-oriented” comprehensive dialogue process with India for resolving outstanding issues. The two top diplomats held discussions in New Delhi on the sidelines of the ‘Heart of Asia’ conference on April 26. Mr Chaudhry said in a statement that during the meeting the Pakistani side had conveyed Islamabad’s commitment to resolve all outstanding issues, including Jammu and Kashmir.

“I emphasized that the Jammu and Kashmir dispute remained the core issue and it was vital to find a just solution to this long standing issue, as per the UN Security Council resolutions and wishes of the Kashmiri people,” he said. “In line with our Prime Minister’s vision of a peaceful neighborhood, I underscored the need for a structured, sustained and result-oriented comprehensive dialogue process between the two countries,” Mr Chaudhry added.

On the Pathankot terror attack, Mr Chaudhry said, “I informed him (Jaishankar) that the JIT had visited India from March 27 to April 1. On the basis of information received from the Indian side, the JIT is currently engaged in further investigations.”

Underlining the need for early and visible progress on the Pathankot terrorist attack investigation as well as the Mumbai case trial in Pakistan, Mr Jaishankar had raised the issue of listing of JeM leader Masood Azhar, the prime suspect in the Pathankot attack, in the UN 1267 Sanctions. India has made it clear that it wants to see action on terror and Pathankot first before the dialogue could be resumed.

On the issue of the arrest of Kulbhushan Jadhav, Mr Chaudhry said, “I conveyed to the Indian side Pakistan’s deep concern on the illegal entry into Pakistan by a RAW officer and his involvement in subversive activities in Karachi and Balochistan”.  India has demanded immediate consular access to him.

“I affirmed to my Indian counterpart that Pakistan believes that a sustained and structured engagement is imperative for resolving the outstanding issues,” Mr Chaudhry said in a statement. Pakistan will welcome the start of the peace dialogue whenever India indicated that it was ready for it, he added.

During the recently held meeting, the two sides had discussed ways to take forward the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue (CBD) which had hit a roadblock in the backdrop of the Pathankot attacks.

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