Pakistan today said dialogue was not a favour by one country to another but a necessity to normalise relations, remarks made in the backdrop of delay in FS-level talks with India which has made it clear that action on Pathankot terror strike takes the priority.
“We are not yet in a cul-de-sac, spirit of cooperation must be retained. We want to get to the bottom of the Pathankot incident. It is necessary we avoid jumping the gun,” Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit said.
Asserting that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif wants normalisation of relations on the basis of mutual respect and mutual interest, Basit, while addressing the Rajasthan Patrika Idea Fest 2016, said, “We are pursuing this policy with seriousness of purpose.”
He also pitched for “uninterruptible and uninterrupted” dialogue, according to a release by the Pakistan High Commission.
“Dialogue was not a favour by one country to another but a necessity to normalise relations,” the envoy said, adding “Jammu and Kashmir was the root cause of all our bilateral problems, as mutually agreed we must work together to settle this issue”.
Indicating that action against terror by Pakistan will take priority over talks with it in the aftermath of the Pathankot strike that had delayed the Foreign Secretary-level talks, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar had earlier this week said, “In the aftermath of a terror attack, if you ask me what do you give priority to, a terrorist attack or a diplomatic dialogue, I think the answer should be obvious.”
Accusing Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed of carrying out Pathankot attack, India had provided “actionable evidence” to Pakistan and sought action against the perpetrators which had led to the postponement of the talks.
Basit further said, “Neither war nor disengagement is an option. Our globalised world calls for active cooperation to address common challenges including terrorism.”
He also asserted that “road to peace is always strewn with many impediments and requires courage to take difficult decisions. Peace is in mutual interest of Pakistan and India and peace can only be achieved through uninterruptible and uninterrupted dialogue”.