ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ms. Tasnim Aslam reiterated on Thursday the need to find a way out of the Line of Control (LoC) trade standoff and said the issue was under discussion.
Responding to questions at the weekly media briefing, she said that, “You are well aware that the allegation was that in one of the trucks, within some edible item, some narcotic drugs were discovered. The discussions are on and obviously there will be investigation on that side as well.”
She said even if one accepts that there were drugs on the truck, then the next question is how does one proceed further? “Do we bring everything to a halt or find a way out? Our view is that if the driver is handed over who may be innocent and even if there were drugs on the truck, he may not be aware of it,” she said.
If at all it happened, it should not be repeated and for that Pakistan also needs to conduct investigations on its side, she pointed out. If there is a possibility that some people other than the driver were involved, who is in a better position to investigate that? she asked, adding that the authority is here in Pakistan.
She expressed the hope that a solution would be found and trade would be resumed soon.
Earlier New Delhi had sought information about Pakistani investigations to uncover the identity of persons who had sent the drugs in a consignment of almonds. Ms Aslam said that she was not aware of India asking for this information but in any case what is India going to do with that information?, she asked. “How would they investigate it in Indian Occupied Kashmir? I don’t know,” she said.
With regard to reports of the Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah saying that Pakistan and India were very close to resolving the Kashmir issue in 2007, she said she did not know which agreement or understanding Mr. Abdullah is talking about.
There have been various proposals under discussion between India, Pakistan and Kashmiris at different times but she was not aware of any solution that they were very close to achieving.
She said there are UN Security Council resolutions on Kashmir so legally that is the status. Then there is a consideration for ameliorating human rights situation. In that context, the meeting points, bus service and Intra-Kashmir trade are some of the steps that Pakistan and India took. She hoped these services would resume at the earliest, so that the people of Kashmir can benefit.
She welcomed the statement from Indian external affairs minister Salman Khurshid on talks with Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir issue, and said, “We have always said that Pakistan and India need to resume the dialogue process and have meaningful, result oriented discussions on all the disputes and issues particularly Kashmir.”
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