- FO urges India to stop ceasefire violations, other provocations
- Offer of dialogue does not mean Pakistan has changed stance over Kashmir
Expressing its grave concern over recent incidents of violation of ceasefire across the Line of Control in Kashmir, Pakistan on Thursday urged India to adopt the process of dialogue to resolve issues and build trust between the two countries.
In his weekly briefing at Foreign Office, spokesman Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry asked the Indian leadership to adopt patience like Pakistan had been showing to reduce tension across LoC.
Referring to the statements of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the spokesman said Pakistan had once again called upon India to reciprocate its policy of restraint, responsibility and dialogue for the larger interest of peace in the region.
He said India should stop ceasefire violations and other provocations.
Expressing concerns over yesterday’s violation at Line of Control in Shaqma Sector, Kargil, which resulted in the martyrdom of a Pakistan Army captain and injury to another solider, the spokesman said Pakistan had conveyed its distress to the Indian government and the Indian deputy high commissioner in Islamabad was summoned to the Foreign Office to convey Pakistan’s protest, concern and sentiments.
He said a strong protest was lodged over the unprovoked firing by Indian army soldiers in Kargil, which resulted in the martyrdom of a Pakistan Army captain and injury to another soldier.
The spokesman said Pakistan conveyed its serious concern on the continued violations of the ceasefire across the LoC by the Indian Army over the past few weeks and the escalation of tensions and told India that it was counterproductive and detrimental for stability and peace in the region.
He said as Pakistan was committed to a constructive, sustained and result-oriented process of engagement, it called upon India to take serious and credible measures to prevent further ceasefire violations and reduce tensions.
The spokesman said Pakistan’s desire for peace should not be construed as its weakness and made it clear that the country’s people and institutions were capable to defend its territory and interests at all cost.
“Our peace overtures are essentially in the interest of the region and the two countries.”
When asked about the doubts about the meeting between the prime ministers of two countries in New York in September, Chaudhry said the leadership of Pakistan was prepared to use the occasion to build confidence and remove the trust deficit.
He said all channels of communications should remain open as suspension of dialogue process would serve the objectives of those who did not want peace in the region.
The spokesman said offer of dialogue to India by Pakistan did not mean that Pakistan had given up its stance on Kashmir and referred the recent address of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in which he categorically stated that Jammu Kashmir issue was still one of unresolved issues between Pakistan and India and had to be resolved.
The spokesman added there were many methods to check and stop the violation of ceasefire across LoC and one of them was United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) which was responsible for monitoring any violation across LoC.
To a question, the spokesman said Afghan President Hamid Karzai would visit Pakistan in the last week of the current month to discuss bilateral issues, trade and economic ties and the regional situation, especially in the context of post-2014 scenario.
He said Pakistan and Afghanistan had very close ties and leaders of both countries were talking each other to further improve bilateral relations.
Commenting on the release of Mullah Baradar, Chaudhry said he could not say anything on such issues, but assured that Pakistan would take all possible measures to facilitate an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process to ensure peace and stability in the region.
Expressing concern over the latest development in Syria, the spokesman said Pakistan still had diplomatic relations with Syria and its mission was working there. He said the Foreign Office was in close contact with its ambassador in Syria.