Nawaz Desires Talks with India

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday said that Pakistan wanted ties with India on the basis of “dignity, self-respect and honour” and desires a “meaningful dialogue to resolve all issues including Kashmir”.

Speaking to media representatives, accompanying him to the 18th SAARC summit on board PM's special aircraft, he said he twice shook hands with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and exchanged pleasantries.

However, he said that India should not have cancelled the Foreign Secretary level talks in August as was agreed upon during his meeting with Prime Minister Modi, following his swearing in at New Delhi.

The prime minister said that Kashmiri leaders had been contacted in the past, whenever Pakistan-India talks were held. He said this was nothing new as “we have to seek the opinion of the Kashmiri leaders, on an issue that concerns them the most”.

Sharif said Pakistan has always desired a meaningful dialogue with India with sincerity and wants it to be reciprocated from the other side. However, he categorically stated that if India wants to restore ties, Kashmir issue must be discussed with full sincerity.

The premier recalled the number of deaths in Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir due to the unprovoked firing by Indian troops along the Line of Control (LoC) and even the Working Boundary.

To a query, he said the issue would also be taken up with India when the talk process resumes.

On the upcoming November 30 rally of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, the prime minister said that Khan was pursuing a personal agenda which was targeting the progress and development of Pakistan.

He said people of Pakistan have rejected the politics of negativity as they know who was sincere to the welfare of the masses and committed to the progress and development of Pakistan.

PM Sharif said Pakistan was again on path of progress and mentioned successful launch of the Sukuk bond that fetched one billion dollars. He said the prices of commodities were on the decline and people would get benefits soon.

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