Kashmir, Priority For Pakistan: Pak FM

KL Desk

Srinagar

Stating that India and Pakistan can’t wish away Kashmir issue, Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabani Khar on Monday said that the reality about the issue was that it was a ‘dispute’.

Talking to KNS editor-in- chief Muhammad Aslam in Islamabad, Khar said, “We have to understand that Kashmir is a dispute and that is a reality.” She added that both the countries have to address the ‘aspirations’ of Kashmiris. “Only interactions won’t be sufficient to reach a consensus. We want to engage people in the dialogue process so that we can have progress towards resolution of the dispute”, said the Pakistan Foreign Minister.

When asked, why people of  Kashmir feel that both the countries have pushed the ‘issue’ to the back burner by concentrating more on bilateral relations, Khar said, “Kashmir has been the priority for Pakistan. If you recall my press conference with S.M Krishna, you will understand how serious and committed Pakistan is on Kashmir cause.” She added that Kashmir can’t be ignored and Pakistan will continue its serious efforts for the resolution of the issue.

“India and Pakistan are not only the two stake holders but also the representatives of the issue and we are trying to address it through dialogue” said Khar, but refused to accept that Kashmiris were being kept out of loop.

“No, Kashmiris are also the part of the issue, we want to engage them in dialogue and make headway”, said Khar in reply to a question.

She also talked about the bilateral issues with India and said that during the last four years, Pakistan has made every possible effort to strengthen the ties with the neighboring country, adding that President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minster Raja Parvaiz Ashraf were for the better relations with every neighboring country including India. “This is a record that during last four years, Pakistan has been cooperating more than ever to strengthen the ties with New Delhi”, said Khar. She said that trade and other CBM’s were necessary for creating an environment for the better relations between the two countries.

Khar also regretted that natural calamities were taking a toll on Indian and Pakistani Soldiers’ on the Siachen peak. “Last time our more than one hundred soldiers died in avalanche and yesterday India lost 6 solider there. I feel hurt that our soldiers are losing lives to natural calamity”, said Khar, adding that there was already an agreement between the two countries on Siachen and that there must be a consensus on it.

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