A day after Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif offered to talk to India on “burning issues”, the country’s PMO clarified that it will not hold negotiations with its neighbour until it reverses the “August 5, 2019 illegal action” on Kashmir.
On August 5, 2019, the Indian government had abrogated Article 370 of the country’s Constitution which granted special status to the Jammu and Kashmir.
“Without India’s revocation of this step, negotiations are not possible,” Dawn News reported quoting the PMO as saying.
In an interview to Al-Arabiya television on Monday, Sharif had offered his Indian counterpart Prime Minister Narendra Modi to sit together and resolve issues including Kashmir.
“My message to the Indian leadership and Prime Minister Modi is that let us sit down on the table and have serious and sincere talks to resolve our burning issues like Kashmir,” he said.
“In Kashmir, flagrant human rights violations are taking place day in and day out,” he added.
Sharif has asked the UAE to play its role in bringing both India and Pakistan to table talks.
Emphasising the urgent need to find mutual grounds of understanding on the issue of Kashmir, Sharif said: “India had usurped any semblance of autonomy, given to the Kashmiris according to Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, as the autonomy was revoked in August 2019.”
Shehbaz Sharif said that the not only the world need to realise that India and Pakistan are neighbours, but both the countries need to understand the importance of co-existing peacefully.
“It is up to us to live peacefully and make progress or quarrel with each other, and waste time and resources,” he said.
“We have three wars with India and it only brought more misery, poverty and unemployment to the people,” he added.
Sharif further said that Pakistan realises the past and has “learned its lesson”, which is why it now wants to live in peace and resolve bilateral problems through table talks.
“We want to alleviate poverty, achieve prosperity and provide education and health facilities and employment to our people and not waste our resources on bombs and ammunition, this is the message I want to give to Prime Minister Modi,” he said.
Sharif also highlighted the threats and fears of effects of the “strained ties” between India and Pakistan, stating that both countries are nuclear powers and if the conflict triggers a war, then there will be no one left to live and tell what happened.