Washington: Pakistan has expressed hope that India would agree to its request to start a comprehensive and meaningful dialogue to resolve all outstanding issues, including Kashmir.
Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to Pakistan Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, hoped that India “will reciprocate to Pakistan’s sincerity” by agreeing to “start a comprehensive, sustained and meaningful dialogue” to resolve all outstanding issues including the core issue of Kashmir.
Observing that Pakistan is following a policy of peaceful relations with neighbours India and Afghanistan, Aziz in a keynote address at the Atlantic Council — an eminent US think-tank — said trade relations with New Delhi is picking up.
“But disputes remain to be resolved,” he said.
Dwelling in detail on the vision of the Nawaz Sharif government, Aziz said that economic development, internal security and improvement in relations with neighbours, especially Afghanistan and India were the main priorities.
Leading a high-powered Pakistani delegation, Aziz on Monday co-chaired the US-Pak Strategic Dialogue along with US Secretary of State John Kerry.
Later in his remarks on “Pakistan-US relations: the way forward” at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University, Aziz said the US-Pak relationship is back on a stable and positive trajectory.
He said that this reflected the inherent resilience of the relationship and the mutual desire on both sides not to let transient irritants impact in any manner the core of the relationship that was rooted in the principles of friendship, cordiality and mutuality of trust and respect.
Cooperation in the defence and security sectors will remain an important plank of the bilateral ties, he said as he specifically pointed out the unilateral US drone strikes as an important issue for Pakistan that needed to be addressed.
Lalit K Jha