Says Onus Of Creating 'Enabling Environment' For Further Progress Rests With India
Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday welcomed the ceasefire agreement with India but said the onus of creating an "enabling environment" for further progress in bilateral relations rests with New Delhi.
In his first comments since the militaries of India and Pakistan jointly announced on Thursday that they have agreed to strictly observe all agreements on the ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) and other sectors, Khan said Pakistan remains ready to move forward to resolve "all outstanding issues" with India through dialogue.
"I welcome restoration of the ceasefire along the LOC. The onus of creating an enabling environment for further progress rests with India. India must take necessary steps to meet the long-standing demand & right of the Kashmiri people to self determination according to UNSC resolutions," Khan tweeted.
"We have always stood for peace & remain ready to move forward to resolve all outstanding issues through dialogue," Khan said in a series of tweets.
India has told Pakistan that "talks and terror" cannot go together and has asked Islamabad to take demonstrable steps against militant groups responsible for launching various attacks on India.
On Thursday, India said it desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan and is committed to resolving all issues bilaterally in a peaceful manner.
"On relations with Pakistan, as we have said earlier, India desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan. We have always maintained that we are committed to addressing issues, if any, in a peaceful and bilateral manner," Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said in New Delhi.
India and Pakistan issued a joint statement on Thursday to strictly observe all agreements on ceasefire along the LoC and other sectors after the hotline discussions by their Director Generals of Military Operations. The decision by the two countries came into effect from the midnight of February 24/25.
India and Pakistan signed a ceasefire agreement in 2003, but it has hardly been followed in letter and spirit over the past several years.
On the Kashmir issue, Khan said, India must take necessary steps to meet the long-standing demand and right of the Kashmiri people to self-determination according to UN Security Council resolutions.
New Delhi has told Islamabad that it has no locus standi to comment on the internal affairs of India, asserting that the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have been and will remain an integral part of the country.
Meanwhile, Pakistan's Foreign Office said on Saturday that it was committed to peaceful coexistence and resolution of the Kashmir issue as per the UN resolution.
"As this day is commemorated, we once again make clear to the world community that Pakistan remains committed to peaceful coexistence and resolution of the long outstanding Jammu & Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people, it said in a statement.
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