Talks with India minus Kashmir unacceptable: Aziz

Sartaj azizISLAMABAD: Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Wednesday informed the National Assembly that Pakistan wants meaningful and resulted oriented dialogue with India; however the dialogue process minus Kashmir issue would not be acceptable.

Replying to various questions during Question Hour, the Advisor said as per reports, US President Obama in his recent visit to India stressed the need to resume stalled dialogue process with Pakistan. However, he said “we had not yet received any positive indication in this regard”.

Sartaj said India in 2013 unilaterally suspended the dialogue process in wake of tensions on the Line of Control and the Working Boundary.

He said the Prime Minister in a meeting with Indian Prime Minister on May 27, 2014 in New Delhi it was decided that the two Foreign Secretaries would meet at the earliest to discuss resumption of the stalled dialogue process.

Pursuant to the decision, the Foreign Secretaries of Pakistan and India were scheduled to meet on August 25, 2014. However, India announced cancellation of the scheduled meeting on August 18, on the flimsy excuse of our High Commissioner’s meeting with the Kashmiri leaders in New Delhi. 

The Advisor said the government has made its position very clear. “Pakistan remains committed to a sustained, meaningful and result-oriented dialogue with India. Since India abruptly cancelled the Foreign Secretaries meeting, the initiative for resumption of the dialogue process lies with India”. 

Regarding Pak-Afghan relations, Sartaj Aziz said, “Building close, cooperative relations with Afghanistan is a high priority in Pakistan’s foreign policy and a vital component of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s vision of a peaceful neighborhood”. 

To another question, he said Afghan refugees repatriation process was extended till December 2015 and schedule was being finalized in consultation of Afghan government and UNHCR for their honorable return.

Replying to another question, Sartaj Aziz said around 2000 Pakistani prisoners were in various jails of Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan on charges of different offences. Some of them were facing minor offences including overstay visa violation and traffic accidents while some were detained on charges of drug trafficking and murder.

To a supplementary question, the Advisor said in past many diplomatic and officials’ passports were issued to unauthorized people and they were being verified. 

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