Pak regrets India’s rejection of ‘discuss Kashmir’ proposal

From Sajjad Hussain Islamabad, Aug 26 (PTI) Pakistan today "regretted" India’svirtual rejection of its proposal for talks on Kashmir even asit briefed the ambassadors of the P-5 and European Unioncountries about the situation there in yet another attempt tointernationalise the issue. Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs SartajAziz briefed the Ambassadors of the Permanent Members of theUN Security Council — China, France, Russia, the UK and theUS — and the European Union — here about the alleged"killings and serious human rights violations" being committedin Kashmir, a Foreign Office statement said. While regretting "the refusal from the Indian side" tohold talks on Kashmir, Aziz also briefed the ambassadors overthe exchange of letters between Pakistan’s Foreign SecretaryAizaz Ahmad Chaudhry and his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar. Pakistan’s move came after India hardened its stancefurther and once again virtually rejected Pakistan’s latestinvitation for talks on Kashmir, saying it is willing todiscuss cross-border terrorism which was its "core concern". Replying to his Pakistani counterpart Chaudhry’s freshinvitation of August 19 to visit Islamabad by the end of thismonth to discuss Kashmir dispute, Jaishankar had said in aletter he was willing to discuss terrorism emanating fromPakistan’s territory which was India’s core concern. At his meeting with the ambassadors, Aziz "deplored thelethal use of force by the Indian forces against the innocentKashmiri people and conveyed serious concerns over thebloodshed" in Kashmir which has taken a "toll of more than 80innocent Kasmiris since July 8, 2016, and inflicted injurieson more than 7,000 people," the Foreign Office statement said. Aziz stated that the international community, especiallythe permanent members of the UN Security Council and theEuropean Union have an important role to uphold the principlesof human rights and international humanitarian law. He urgedthem to fulfil their commitments to the people of Jammu andKashmir under the UN Security Council resolutions. "The Adviser said that Pakistan welcomes the UN SecretaryGeneral’s offer and would be ready to engage in a dialogue toresolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute," the statement said. "The P-5 and EU Ambassadors stressed the need to resolvethe issue peacefully. They also acknowledged the importance ofdialogue to address this long standing issue and theprevailing grave situation," it said. The war of words between the two nations comes amid astrain in bilateral ties over the continuing unrest in Kashmirwith Islamabad issuing provoking statements on the turmoilfollowing the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander BurhanWani last month. Wani was hailed as a martyr by Pakistan, which also triedto internationalise the Kashmir issue with Prime MinisterNawaz Sharif and the country’s foreign office writing to ahost of countries besides the United Nations, while Indiahas been maintaining that Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in theValley is the root cause of the turbulence. PTI SH ASK PYK GSNASK

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