ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday welcomed External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid’s remarks on finding new avenues to resolve bilateral problems, saying result-oriented talks were needed to settle outstanding issues like Kashmir.
“We have always said Pakistan and India need to resume the dialogue process and have meaningful, result-oriented discussions on all the disputes and issues, particularly Kashmir,” Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam told a weekly news briefing.
She welcomed Khurshid’s remarks to a group of visiting Pakistani journalists in New Delhi yesterday that both countries “would have to find out new avenues for the resolution of water and all other problems, including Kashmir”.
However, Aslam said she was “unaware” of any solution that Pakistan and India were close to on the Kashmir issue.
Asked about Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s remarks that the only solution to the Kashmir issue is to create a situation where the “lines, while in existence” became irrelevant, she said, “There are different ways to approach this.
“One is that there are UN Security Council resolutions on Kashmir, so legally that is the status,” she said.
“I do not know which agreement or understanding Mr Abdullah is talking about. There have been various proposals under discussion between India, Pakistan and Kashmiris at different times. But I am not aware of any solution that we were very close to.”
Talking about Omar’s comment that there were opportunities in the four-point formula on Kashmir proposed by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, including demilitarisation and softening of borders, Aslam said various proposals have been under consideration.
“Then there is a consideration for ameliorating the human rights situation. In that context, the meeting points, bus service and intra-Kashmir trade are some of the steps that Pakistan and India took,” she said.
“We hope that these services would resume at the earliest, so that the people of Kashmir can benefit from these.