Srinagar: Pakistan on Tuesday set five pre-conditions for the resumption of “meaningful dialogue” with India to resolve all outstanding issues, including the longstanding dispute over Jammu and Kashmir.
In a first ever interview by a Pakistani official since India revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and divided the state into two Union Territories, Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Security Dr Moeed Yousaf told Karan Thapar in an exclusive interview that India had communicated a desire to open dialogue with Pakistan after a hiatus of more than six years. He said that Pakistan desired peaceful ties with India and wanted to resolve all issues through dialogue.
However in the 75-minutes video broadcast on The Wire, Yousaf asserted that for any meaningful dialogue to take place between the two neighbours, India has to release all political prisoners in Kashmir, end inhuman blockade and restrictions, rescind domicile law that allows non-Kashmiris to settle in the disputed territory, stop human rights abuses and end terrorism in Pakistan.
“Pakistan would be ready for dialogue with India if the Modi government accepts those preconditions,” Yousaf said.
Interestingly, Yousaf did not mention the restoration of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir as one of the pre-conditions for restarting talks with India. He said Pakistan cannot recognise Article-370 because Pakistan’s quarrel is with the actual instrument of accession.
“I am not making a protest against scrapping of Article 370. We are raising an issue because you have formally gone outside the UN charter resolutions by making a permanent change to a territory I rightfully claim as mine. To the people who can’t bear the thought of being under Indian occupation. My quarrel is domicile law which is thrusting people on a Muslim majority to change its character,” he added.
Quoting former Chief Minister and National Conference patron Dr Farooq Abdullah’s recent interview with Thapar in which he had claimed that Kashmiris will prefer Chinese rule instead of India’s, Yousaf said that the world was calling out India over its August 5 actions.
“That’s the reality. Kashmiris can’t bear the thought of being Indian,” he said.
He regretted that India had chosen to take a “unilateral” decision bypassing the United Nations Security Council resolutions, as well as the bilateral Shimla agreement, signed between New Delhi and Islamabad.
“When you did something unilateral you had to bring in 180,000 troops, lie to the world that there was a terrorist threat and then Indian government perpetrated terrorism on August 5. And a year later, you had to impose curfew,” he said
“When you say that the wishes of the people don’t matter, that’s where you go wrong.The day India recognises that only the wishes of people of Kashmir matter, this issue can be resolved,” he added.
Yousaf alleged that India used its missions in one of the neighbouring countries of Pakistan to facilitate and sponsor terrorist attack at a five-star Hotel in Gwadar, Chinese Consulate in Karachi and the Pakistan Stock Exchange.
“India spent $1 million to ensure the merger of different TTP factions in Afghanistan,” he added.
- Release all political prisoners in Kashmir
- End inhuman blockade and restrictions
- Rescind domicile law
- Stop human rights abuses
- End terrorism in Pakistan
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