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‘Kashmir issue can’t be resolved until…’: Pakistan govt backtracks, issues clarification after PM Shehbaz Sharif calls for ‘serious talks’ with PM Narendra Modi | India News

Islamabad: The Pakistan Government has issued a clarification over Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s viral interview with Al Arabiya channel in which he expressed his sincere desire to hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on all pressing problems, including Kashmir. Prime Minister’s Office (Pak PMO) issued a statement in which it said that talks with India can only take place after the country reverses its “illegal action of August 5, 2019”, referring to the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, which revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories- Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh on August 5, 2019.

 

 

“Without India’s revocation of this step, negotiations are not possible,” the Pakistan PMO said in a series of tweets.

 

 

The PMO further stated, “the settlement of the Kashmir dispute must be in accordance with the UN resolutions & aspirations of people of Jammu & Kashmir.”

 

 

The “clarification” from the PMO came hours after Sharif said in the interview that “Pakistan has learnt a lesson and wants to live in peace with India.” During the interview, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also stated that the two neighbours should not waste their resources on bombs and ammunition.

Prime Minister Sharif made these comments during an interview with the Dubai-based Al Arabiya news channel on Monday.

 

 

“We have three wars with India and it only brought more misery, poverty and unemployment to the people,” Sharif said. “My message to the Indian leadership and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is that let us sit down on the table and have serious and sincere talks to resolve our burning issues like Kashmir,” he said. He said Pakistan and India are neighbours and have to “live with each other.”

“We have learnt our lesson and we want to live in peace provided we are able to resolve our genuine problems. We want to alleviate poverty, achieve prosperity, and provide education and health facilities and employment to our people and not waste our resources on bombs and ammunition, that is the message I want to give to Prime Minister Modi,” Sharif said.

It may be recalled that the ties between the two countries nosedived after India abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution, revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcating the State into two Union Territories on August 5, 2019.

India’s decision evoked a strong reaction from Pakistan, which downgraded diplomatic ties and expelled the Indian envoy.

Trade ties between Pakistan and India have essentially been frozen since then.

Meanwhile, India has always maintained that “talks and terror” cannot go hand in hand. New Delhi in November last year had also lashed out at Islamabad for raking up the issue of Kashmir during a United Nations debate terming it as “desperate attempts to peddle falsehoods”.

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