Indo-Pak Dialogue imperative, Kashmir issue should be resolved first: Abdul Basit

| Updated: Jul 30, 2017 08:07 IST

New Delhi [India], July 30 (ANI): Terming dialogue as a "pre-requisite" for normalisation of relations, outgoing Pakistani High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit said that it should not be disrupted and both the nations need to work out to find a solution to Jammu and Kashmir issue, which is in synchronization with the aspirations of people living in the Valley. He further admitted that Pakistan's support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir is not limited. Basit stressed, "Dialogue process should resume and it must continue to discuss issues, no matter how much time is being spent for mechanisms, negotiations. We need to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir issue. Somehow that is one problem area where the two sides have not been able to lay solid foundations for building mutual trust between our two countries." "We have seen, since 1947, both the countries allowed Jammu and Kashmir dispute to linger on and more issues have been added- Sir Creek, Siachen, terrorism. So all issues are complex and we must muster the courage and political will to find solution to these problems.The Jammu and Kashmir dispute must be resolved for any real progress," he said. Further talking about Pakistan's support to Kashmiris, he said, "Perceptions and misconceptions in India about Pakistan's support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir are not limited to moral, diplomatic or political support. They are beyond that." "The people of Jammu and Kashmir should not be allowed to suffer because of what Pakistan or India did or did not do. Kashmiris have the right to self determination as was committed to them by both countries ," he added. "Both India and Pakistan need to see how to find a solution which is in sync with the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, as what the two countries decide may not find resonance with the people, leading to its unsustainability, " Basit said. Basit was appointed as the High Commissioner to India in 2014. Abdul Basit said a dialogue was a "pre-requisite" and it should not be disrupted, which may require "give and take" from both sides, as huge time and energies had been spent to build confidence building measures (CBMs). "Whenever we engage, we manage to get good results. We need to commence a dialogue process and ensure that the CBMs (Confidence Building Measures) are adhered to in letter and spirit. We must not allow artificial barriers between the two countries," he said. "Engagement is the key. Dialogue is a pre-requisite and a necessity to resolve our problems. Talks may not produce immediate results," he said when asked, if Pakistan was ready to make certain concessions. Adding, "Compromises always involve give and take." The Indo-Pak peace process came to an abrupt halt after the Pathankot terror attack in 2016. Since then, bilateral ties have worsened, entering into a period of fresh uncertainty. Basit added, "Resumption of Dialogue process was linked to the progress of Pathankot. We need to decide of not disrupting the dialogue process. While we were cooperating on the Pathankot issue, we could have carried on the dialogue process. That would have helped." The outgoing envoy said that Pakistan does not shy away from discussing issues like terrorism, as the country too has concerns when it comes to this. "Once we start talking to each other there would be other issues like terrorism," he said. "We had decided at Sharm El Sheikh to separate talks from terrorism. We should not be held hostage to forces that do not want progress," he said.(ANI)
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