India for talks on relevant issues with Pakistan

New Delhi, Aug 13 (IANS) India on Saturday said that it will welcome a dialogue with Pakistan on relevant issues following top Pakistani foreign adviser Sartaj Aziz’s statement on Friday that Islamabad would like to have an exclusive dialogue with New Delhi on Kashmir

“India would welcome a dialogue on contemporary and relevant issues in India-Pakistan relations,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

“At this time they include a stoppage of Pakistani support for cross-border terrorism, infiltration of terrorists like Bahadur Ali, incitement to violence and terrorism across the border, parading of internationally recognized terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Syed Salahuddin, and sincere follow-up on the Mumbai attack trial and the Pathankot attack investigation in Pakistan,” he stated.

India suspended bilateral dialogue with Pakistan after gunmen attacked an Indian air base at Pathankot in January. India had blamed the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammad militant group for the attack.

Sartaj Aziz said on Friday Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary would write a letter to his Indian counterpart to extend a formal invitation for the talks.

He told the media that Pakistan would invite India for the Kashmir talks despite the stalled Composite Dialogue process between the two countries.

Pakistan and India have fought three wars, two over Kashmir, since their independence in 1947.

Sartaj Aziz said a recent conference of Pakistani envoys also focused on relations with India.

“The Envoys Conference noted that India’s policy of not engaging in a comprehensive dialogue with Pakistan was not conducive for peace in South Asia,” Aziz said.

The conference vowed to continue diplomatic, political and moral support to “the Kashmiri movement for self-determination”.

The advisor said Kashmir would be on top of the agenda of Pakistan during the forthcoming session of the UN General Assembly.

Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan had written to the UN Human Rights Council on “human rights violations” in the Kashmir Valley and the council had conveyed to India that it wants to send a fact-finding mission to Kashmir.

India had accused Pakistan of interfering in the affairs of Jammu and Kashmir following the mass protests that engulfed the Kashmir Valley after the July 8 killing of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.

On July 25, Indian authorities arrested Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist Bahadur Ali in Jammu and Kashmir who had infiltrated into India from Pakistan.

Following this, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar summoned Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit on Tuesday and issued a strongly worded demarche protesting against continued cross-border terrorism from Pakistan.



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