Indo-Pak Relations : ‘Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir irrevocable’

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday said there was no change in its stance on the Jammu and Kashmir issue and pointed that being the oldest issue on the agenda of the United Nations, the dispute needs to be addressed.

Foreign Office Spokesman Nafees Zakaria told reporters here at the weekly press briefing, he welcomed the recognition by the United States of America that it was a dispute.

He said the Kashmiris were struggling for their right of self-determination.

The Spokesman said Pakistan would continue to extend moral, political and diplomatic support to the Kashmiris till the implementation of the UN resolutions.

He said the issue would be taken up whenever the two countries hold talks.

The Spokesman said initiatives have been taken for Confidence Building at the leadership level between the two countries, however regretted that levelling of allegations were of no help to lowering tensions between the two countries.

To a question, the Spokesman said Pakistan has released 87 Indian prisoners including fishermen and civilian and said Pakistan would release more people who have completed their sentence terms. He, however, pointed that India has released only four civilians.

He said people-to-people contacts were an important factor in improving ties with the neighbours. He said such contacts were not only important in arts and culture but also on religious levels and mentioned the large number of Sikh Yatrees who visit Pakistan.

He said under the vision of the Prime Minister, Pakistan desired good relations with all its neighbours.

Zakaria said Pakistan, China, Afghanistan and the United States were part of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group for dialogue between the Afghan Government and the Taliban and added it was the collective responsibility of all the stakeholders to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table.

He said it was the only way for an Afghan-led and an Afghan-owned Peace and Reconciliation Process.

He said Pakistan has offered the venue for the talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban groups, however added that the date has not been finalized yet.

The Spokesman said Pakistan will always remain at the forefront to counter terrorism. He termed terrorism not only a menace for Pakistan but also a big concern for all the regions and the world at large.

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