Striking a conciliatory note amid rising tension in ties, Pakistan on Thursday said it does not want to live in “perpetual hostility” with India, noting time has come for the two neighbours to decide whether status quo should continue or a new beginning be made.
Calling for an “uninterrupted and uninterruptable” bilateral engagement, Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit said the two countries must overcome the differences in order to embark on a “irreversible trajectory” of cooperative relationship.
Maintaining that Pakistan was ready for comprehensive talks with India, Basit, however, said the desire for engagement was missing from the Indian side, adding his government has patience and was ready to wait for resumption of dialogue.
“I think we have wasted 70 years of our existence. Time has now come to make up our mind on what do we want. Whether we would like to continue with the status quo or we want to make a new beginning in our ties,” Basit said.
His comments at a discussion on Indo-Pak relations came amid escalating tension between the two countries over a number of cross-border terror attacks, including at army establishments in Uri and Nagrota, and India’s surgical strikes across the LoC in September.
“Pakistan does not wish to live in perpetual hostility with India. We remain positive and constructive but it takes two to tango. There are serious problems between the two countries. We cannot shy away from them but at the end of the day we can engage in purposeful diplomacy, we can realise results for mutual satisfaction and make a good beginning,” he said.
At the same time, he said, for Pakistan Jammu and Kashmir was the core issue between the two countries and finding a solution to it could bridge the trust deficit them.
“We need to move from conflict management to conflict resolution and that obviously cannot happen unless we talk to each other with sincereity and seriousness of purpose,” Basit said.