PM says want mean­ing­ful talk with New Delhi

The Financial Daily - - FRONT PAGE -

ISLAMABAD: Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif on Fri­day said that Pak­istan wanted ties with In­dia on the ba­sis of "dig­nity, sel­f­re­spect and hon­our" and de­sires a "mean­ing­ful di­a­logue to re­solve all is­sues in­clud­ing Kash­mir".

Speak­ing to me­dia rep­re­sen­ta­tives, ac­com­pa­ny­ing him to the 18th SAARC sum­mit on board PM's spe­cial air­craft, he said he twice shook hands with his In­dian coun­ter­part Naren­dra Modi and ex­changed pleas­antries.

How­ever, he said that In­dia should not have can­celled the For­eign Sec­re­tary level talks in Au­gust as was agreed upon dur­ing his meet­ing with Prime Min­is­ter Modi, fol­low­ing his swear­ing in at New Delhi.

The prime min­is­ter said that Kash­miri lead­ers had been con- tacted in the past, when­ever Pak­istan-In­dia talks were held. He said this was noth­ing new as "we have to seek the opin­ion of the Kash­miri lead­ers, on an is­sue that con­cerns them the most".

Sharif said Pak­istan has al­ways de­sired a mean­ing­ful di­a­logue with In­dia with sin­cer­ity and wants it to be re­cip­ro­cated from the other side. How­ever, he cat­e­gor­i­cally stated that if In­dia wants to re­store ties, Kash­mir is­sue must be dis­cussed with full sin­cer­ity.

The premier re­called the num­ber of deaths in Pak­istan and Azad Jammu and Kash­mir due to the un­pro­voked fir­ing by In­dian troops along the Line of Con­trol (LoC) and even the Work­ing Bound­ary.

To a query, he said the is­sue would also be taken up with In­dia when the talk process re­sumes.

On the up­com­ing Novem­ber 30 rally of Pak­istan Tehreek-iIn­saf (PTI) Chair­man Im­ran Khan, the prime min­is­ter said that Khan was pur­su­ing a per­sonal agenda which was tar­get­ing the progress and de­vel­op­ment of Pak­istan.

He said peo­ple of Pak­istan have re­jected the pol­i­tics of neg­a­tiv­ity as they know who was sin­cere to the wel­fare of the masses and com­mit­ted to the progress and de­vel­op­ment of Pak­istan.

PM Sharif said Pak­istan was again on path of progress and men­tioned suc­cess­ful launch of the Sukuk bond that fetched one bil­lion dol­lars. He said the prices of com­modi­ties were on the de­cline and peo­ple would get ben­e­fits soon. -Agen­cies

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