Islamabad: Pakistan said on Saturday the “trust deficit” needs to be removed for better relations with India even as it voiced support for any effort to restart the stalled bilateral dialogue between the two nations.
Talking about the resumption of talks with India, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said Pakistan would support any effort to restart the dialogue process.
Chaudhry said that there was a “trust deficit” between Pakistan and India which needs to be removed for better ties between the two nations.
“Whenever there will be talks between Pakistan and India, Kashmir will remain on top of the agenda,” he added.
He also talked about the arrest of alleged Indian spy Kulbushan Yadav, and termed it as proof of “Indian involvement” in Pakistan’s internal affairs. India has acknowledged Yadav is a retired Indian Navy officer but denied the allegation that he was in any way connected to the government. Chaudhry also urged the US not to attach any conditions for the sale of F-16s, after the Congress stalled the sale by refusing to authorise funding for it.
“We are making diplomatic efforts to convince the US to make the purchase of F-16 possible as Pakistan needs them in its ongoing war against terrorism,” he said.
Earlier, Pakistan had said that it would look towards other countries to get the latest fighter jets if the US did not deliver the F-16s. The foreign secretary also rejected the impression that Islamic State militants were active in Pakistan.
“Pakistani agencies are on alert in order to deal with any possible threat, which is why action has been taken against such elements,” he said.
He also reiterated support for the peace process in Afghanistan but rejected the use of force against the Afghan Taliban as demanded by the Afghan president after last month’s bombing in Kabul which killed over 60 people.
Chaudhry said all groups in Afghanistan should stop violence and join talks for lasting peace in the country.