Af­ter US-N Korea talks, Shah­baz Sharif asks In­dia to fol­low suit

Financial Chronicle - - FUNDAMENTALS, POLITICS - M ZULQERNAIN

PAK­ISTAN’S ousted prime min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif’s brother and PMLN chief She­hbaz Sharif has asked In­dia to re­sume peace talks with Is­lam­abad, say­ing the Sin­ga­pore sum­mit be­tween the US and North Korea should set a good prece­dent for both the bick­er­ing neigh­bours to fol­low.

“Ever since the start of Korean War, the two na­tions have been at odds with one an­other — both threat­en­ing to use mil­i­tary force with their nu­clear ar­se­nals fac­ing each other. If the United States and North Korea can re­turn from the brink of a nu­clear flash­point, there is no rea­son why Pak­istan and In­dia can­not do the same ... be­gin­ning with a di­a­logue on Kash­mir,” Shah­baz Sharif said in a se­ries of tweets.

He fur­ther said: “It is time for com­pre­hen­sive peace talks in our re­gion. In­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity must fo­cus on the peace process in Afghanistan. Di­a­logue be­tween Pak­istan and In­dia over Kash­mir should also re­sume so that the long-fes­ter­ing Kash­mir dis­pute is re­solved in ac­cor­dance with the UN res­o­lu­tions.”

Po­lit­i­cal pun­dits in Pak­istan be­lieve that Nawaz’s ef­forts to nor­malise ties with New Delhi was one one of the ma­jor rea­sons be­hind his ouster as premier. Shah­baz, who is a prime min­is­te­rial can­di­date from his party, also asked In­dia to leave be­hind the past ten­sions be­tween the arch-ri­vals and starts afresh. “The US and North Korea talks should be a role model for Pak­istan and In­dia. If they can re­turn from their pre­vi­ous hos­tile po­si­tions of at­tack­ing each other, Pak­istan and In­dia can also re­sume com­pos­ite di­a­logue,” he said.

The PML-N chief said a di­a­logue be­tween Pak­istan and In­dia over Kash­mir was needed to re­solve the long-fes­ter­ing dis­pute in ac­cor­dance with the UN res­o­lu­tions. He said if his party re­turns to power in July 25 elec­tions, it will pro­mote peace in the re­gion with a fo­cus on Afghanistan, as peace in Afghanistan is “in­ex­tri­ca­bly in­ter­twined” with peace and se­cu­rity in Pak­istan.

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