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Pakistan-India tit-for-tat policy must end: Nawaz

31 October, 2013

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LONDON: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said that a tit-for-tat policy between Pakistan and India must end now so that the condition of the people of the two countries could be ameliorated.

Talking to newsmen, Nawaz said he had discussed the issue of Line of Control during his US and UK visits. He said India should have no objection to third party mediation on the Kashmir issue in line with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people. "I have a realistic approach to the issue and if there is third party mediation, there should be no hesitation on part of India," he added. The prime minister said Indian stance on the issue offered no solution as it had proved futile in resolving the issue, and caused three wars between the neighbouring countries in the last 65 years.

Prime Minister Nawaz said that people-to-people contacts were a good thing, if these were improved. He said Pakistan wants good relations with India, enhanced friendship, trade and business cooperation and wanted to live like a good neighbour with the neighbouring country. "In the past they (India and Pakistan) had wasted precious resources in fighting," he noted, saying that the two countries' resources should be dedicated towards education, improving economy and infrastructure, which could have helped them excel greatly.

The premier said that his current visit to the United Kingdom was bearing fruit due to the growing stronger bilateral ties. He said Pak-UK ties were on the high wave, growing stronger with each passing day. The UK accorded high importance to its ties with Pakistan, he added. Recalling the words of his British counterpart, David Cameron, during his last visit to Pakistan, Nawaz said that every Pakistani should remember the words in which he had declared enemies of Pakistan as common enemies of both the countries.

"Friends of Pakistan are friends of Britain and enemies of Pakistan are enemies of Britain," such words by the British premier proved his close affinity with the people of Pakistan, Nawaz added. About his meetings with Cameron, British foreign and home ministers, he said that they had discussed an array of issues, including Kashmir. The UK is a major contributor to the education sector in Pakistan and it could also help in counter-terror force with its resources, he added.

"In my US visit, I had also raised the issue that we wanted trade not aid," Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said. About his trilateral meeting in the UK, he said it was the first time after assuming office that he had a meeting with the Afghan president and the British premier. "In the meeting, all issues were discussed – how peace can be restored in Afghanistan, how elections could be held – as the peace in Afghanistan is linked to whole regional stability and also vital for Pakistan," he added. Expressing his grief over the Quetta blast, Nawaz said that it was an unfortunate incident.

"The government wants to stop it to stop this bloodshed and loss of lives. It is the desire of public, and the government is also determined to fulfil it," he added.

In his meeting with British Foreign Secretary William Hague, who paid a courtesy call on him and discussed various issues of mutual interest, Nawaz said that Pakistan wanted peace in Afghanistan and was ready to offer all possible support in this regard. He also emphasised the need of effective border management system between Pakistan and Afghanistan so that the issue of cross border infiltration could be addressed.

The prime minister expressed his appreciation of the continuity of British government's support to resolve outstanding issues between Pakistan and India.

End.

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