#Day43: Islamabad Extends Invite To Delhi For Talks By August End

KL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR

Pakistan on Friday invited Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar to Islamabad by the end of this month to discuss Kashmir dispute “as per the UN Security Council Resolutions”.

Upping the ante, it called for an immediate end to “human rights violations in Kashmir” and sought permission for Pakistani doctors and paramedics to travel to the state.

Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson said its Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry had given a reply to Jaishankar’s proposal for talks on cross-border terror. The reply was handed over to Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambwale by Chaudhry in Islamabad.

The spokesperson said the letter invites the Indian Foreign Secretary to visit “Islamabad by the end of this month to discuss the Jammu & Kashmir dispute, with a view to finding a fair and just solution, as per the United Nations Security Council resolutions and aspirations” of the people of the state.

Pakistan has also called for “putting an immediate end to the human rights violations against the innocent people” of Jammu and Kashmir and for providing medical facilities to the injured, “including the permission for doctors and paramedics to travel.”

Earlier, Pakistan had on Monday invited India for talks on Kashmir, saying it is the “international obligation” of both the countries to resolve the issue.

However, India on Wednesday rejected Pakistan’s proposal to hold Foreign Secretary-level talks on Kashmir and insisted that discussions should be held on “aspects related to cross- border terrorism which are central to the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir.”

Jaishankar, while expressing willingness to travel to Islamabad to discuss cross-border terrorism, had maintained that Pakistan has no locus standi in addressing any aspect of the situation in J&K, which is an internal matter of India, except to put an end to cross-border terrorism and infiltration.

Yesterday, India set certain conditions for talks, asserting that discussions should focus on cessation of terrorist activities in J&K and ending incitement to violence and terror in the Valley.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said yesterday that Jaishankar had conveyed to his Pakistani counterpart that he accepts his invitation to visit Islamabad but made it clear the discussions should focus first on the pressing aspects of the J&K situation flagged by him.

“In a letter dated August 16, Foreign Secretary has first of all underlined that Pakistan’s self-serving allegations made in their communication are rejected in their entirety by the Government of India. Pakistan has no locus standi in respect of J&K, which is an integral part of our nation,” said Swarup.

Deliberations should also focus on denying safe haven, shelters and support to terrorists in Pakistan who have escaped Indian law, Jaishankar said in his letter. “The ball is in Pakistan’s court now. They had made an offer, we have responded to the offer. It is up to them to carry it forward,” said Swarup.

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