Islamabad: Pakistan said on Thursday that it never shied away from talks with India to resolve all outstanding issues.
Foreign Office spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhry made the comments at the weekly media briefing when asked about the possibility of talks with India in the wake of new understanding between the Directors General Military Operations (DGMOs) of the two countries.
“Pakistan has never shied away from talks and has always called for peaceful resolution of all outstanding disputes” including Jammu and Kashmir, he said.
India last month said that it desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan in an environment free of terror, hostility and violence. India has said the onus is on Pakistan to create an environment free of terror and hostility.
“Our position is well-known. India desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan in an environment free of terror, hostility and violence,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said. “The onus is on Pakistan for creating such an environment.”
Chaudhry said that the DGMOs of India and Pakistan in their recently held discussions over the established mechanism of hotline contact reviewed the situation along the Line of Control (LOC) and all other sectors, agreeing to strictly observe all agreements, understandings and ceasefire.
India and Pakistan had announced on February 25 that they have agreed to strictly observe all agreements on ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir and other sectors.
Chaudhry said Pakistan has consistently underscored the need for implementation of the 2003 ceasefire understanding in letter and spirit for maintenance of peace along the Line of Control.
“We have also maintained that escalation along the LOC is a threat to regional peace and security. The recent development is very much in line with Pakistan’s consistent position,” he said.
To a question about the US terming Kashmir as union territory of India, he said Pakistan already conveyed to the US side that “the reference is inconsistent with disputed status” of the region.
Ties between India and Pakistan nosedived after a terror attack on the Pathankot Air Force base in 2016 by terror groups based in the neighbouring country. Subsequent attacks, including one on Indian Army camp in Uri, further deteriorated the relationship.
The relationship dipped further after India’s war planes pounded a Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist training camp deep inside Pakistan on February 26, 2019 in response to the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed.
The relations deteriorated after India in August 2019 announced withdrawing special powers of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcation of the state into two union territories.