Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Pakistan asks for US help, says won't start talks with India without Kashmir...........

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Tuesday said that it will not start any dialogue with India if Kashmir issue was not part of the agenda, even as US secretary of state John Kerry advised the two neighbours to resume peace talks.

National security adviser Sartaj Aziz and Kerry addressed a joint press conference here after talks which were part of the bilateral strategic dialogue.

Aziz said that the cancellation of last year's scheduled talks over meeting with Kashmiri leaders shows that India was not interested to talk on this issue.

"Pakistan will not start talks with India without Kashmir," he said.

Kerry said US would continue to encourage the two sides to move forward and hold dialogue to resolve the issue.

He also voiced concern over the border tension between the two neighbours.

"We continue to be deeply concerned by the recent spate of increased violence along the working boundary and the Line of Control," Kerry said.

"It is profoundly in the interests of Pakistan and India to move this relationship forward," he added.

Aziz claimed that India was involved in unprovoked firing across the border.

The two sides in the dialogue also discussed the relations between Pakistan and India.

India called off foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan in August last year after Pakistan high commissioner in New Delhi Abdul Basit held talks with Kashmiri separatists.

(John Kerry, left, gestures to a journalist as Pakistani prime minister's adviser on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz, second left, watches him during their joint press conference in Islamabad.)

Prevail upon India to work with us, Sartaj Aziz tells John Kerry

Sartaz Aziz said the US being an influential member of the international community could prevail upon India to work with Pakistan for regional peace and economic prosperity.

"The cancellation of foreign secretary-level talks by India, followed by the recent incidents of unprovoked and indiscriminate firing on the Line of Control (LoC) and Working Boundary (International Border) are a source of serious concern to Pakistan," he said.

"We hope, therefore, that US as an influential member of the international community can prevail upon India to work with Pakistan towards regional peace and economic prosperity."

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