New Delhi: In a major blow to PM Modi’s Pakistan outreach, the neighbouring country has significantly hardened its stance. Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit has said that at present peace process is suspended between the two countries. It is a clean break from the atmosphere of talks between the two countries which was promoted in the last few months and got a flip when Modi made a surprise stop-over to Pakistan while travelling from Afghanistan to India.
Abdul Basit said, ” As far as I know there is no meeting scheduled between two foreign secretaries (India-Pak) yet”. Speaking at a press conference, Abdul Basit said that, ” There shouldnt be any doubt that Pak wants to have a normal & peaceful relationship with India”. In a veiled jibe towards India, Basit said, ” We all are aware of those who seek to create unrest in Pakistan and destabilise it. They are bound to fail as the people of Pakistan are united to effectively counter anti-Pakistan subversive activities on basis of sovereign equality and mutual interest. There is national consensus on this in Pakistan”.
Reiterating the old line of Kashmir issue being the bone of contention between the two countries, Basit said that, It is the Jammu and Kashmir dispute that is the root cause of mutual distrust (Indo-Pak) and other bilateral issues. Therefore, it’s fair and just resolution, as per aspirations of people of Jammu & Kashmir, is imperative. Therefore, a fair and just resolution is a must and attempts to put it on backburner from our perspective will be counterproductive”.
Referring to the arrest of ‘RAW Spy’, Basit said that, “The recent arrest of Kulbhushan Yadav in Pakistan irrefutably corroborates what Pakistan has been saying all along. We all are aware of those who seek to create unrest in Pakistan and destabilise the country. It is high time to break the carapace of complacency and dispense with self-serving approach”. About India’s request for consular access, Basit said that, “Indian request is under consideration, but can’t say when they would be given consular access”.
Referring to the Pathankot investigation and possible travel on NIA team to Pakistan, High Commissioner said that the goal is to reach the end of the story.
Finally about the peace talks, Basit struck a pretty pessimistic tone saying, ” Lets see if we are able to commence the dialogue process”. In short he refused to give any timeline for resumption of talks.
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