Pakistan raises Kashmir, Balochistan in talks with India

New Delhi, April 26 (IANS) Pakistan on Tuesday raised India’s alleged involvement in the Balochistan insurgency and also described Kashmir as the “core issue” between the two countries as their foreign secretaries met on the sidelines of a global conference on Afghanistan here.

Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry and his Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar discussed “all outstanding issues, including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute,” a statement from the Pakistan High Commission said.

“The Foreign Secretary (Chaudhry) emphasized that Kashmir remains the core issue that requires a just solution, in accordance with UN resolution and wishes of the Kashmiri people,” it said.

The statement said Chaudhry “also took up the matter of capture of RAW officer, Kulbushan Jadhav, and expressed serious concern over (India’s) involvement in subversive activities in Balochistan and Karachi”.

Pakistan has long accused India of stoking the insurgency in the gas and mineral-rich Balochistan — Pakistan’s biggest province. India has always denied these allegations.

Jadhav was arrested in Balochistan in March on charges of spying for India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). India has denied that Jadhav, a retired Indian navy officer, worked for RAW.

The Pakistan statement added that Chaudhry told Jaishankar that spying by Indian agents “undermine efforts to normalize relations between the two countries”.

Chaudhry also raked up the 2007 bombing of the Samjhauta Express train that runs between the two countries. India investigating agencies earlier blamed rightwing Hindu activists for the attack. News reports say the suspects are being released due to lack of evidence.

“He (Chaudhry) also conveyed concern over the efforts by the Indian authorities for the release of the prime suspects of the Samjhauta Express blast,” the statement said.

The Pakistan foreign secretary, however, expressed confidence that the two countries would remain “committed to a sustained, meaningful and comprehensive dialogue process” in the backdrop of the goodwill generated by the recent high-level contacts.

He “underscored the need for early commencement of comprehensive dialogue for which the Indian foreign secretary’s visit to Pakistan is due”.

–IANS

sar/mr

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