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Sartaj Aziz want resumtion of talk between foreign secretaries of India-Pakistan

19 April, 2015

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LAHORE: Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has expressed wonder at the inordinate delay by India in resuming foreign secretaries-level talks between the two countries and urged New Delhi to start the dialogue for resolving various issues amid at creating peace in the region.

“Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after 2013 general elections had announced an economic and social development road map for the country through developing good relations with the neighbours, including India. Under this policy, the premier went to India and took part in the oath-taking ceremony of the India PM Narendra Modi. During their meeting on May 27 last year both premiers agreed to resume talks at foreign-secretaries level. And on Aug 25, India conveyed us about sending its foreign secretary to Islamabad in this regard,” Mr Sartaj said at seminar titled

Muslim-Sikh Dosti Di Tarjman — Baisakhi (Besakhi represents Muslim-Sikh friendship) here on Saturday.

He said the foreign ministry wondered when the India cancelled the talks on its own without consulting Pakistan. He said though the new Indian foreign secretary visited Pakistan on March 3 this year as a good will gesture, formal talks were yet to resume.

He said Pakistan believed in peace in the region and desired to initiate dialogues on all issues with India and other countries.

“If there will be peace, we all can eradicate the menace of poverty, illiteracy and injustice in the region,” he said, urging India to resume the process of dialogue as agreed by the two premiers.

He said the Article 20 of the Constitution empowered every citizen of Pakistan to follow and preach his/her religion by worshiping in mosque, church or temple etc. Under this, he said, the minorities were given various rights related to their routine business, including jobs, representation in parliament or provincial assemblies etc and worship. So expanding this scope of work, the Evacuee Trust Property Board and other departments concerned were making efforts to safeguard and renovate the minorities’ worship places, including Gurdwaras/temples, he added.

“Now every Sikh or Hindu knows well that Pakistan is doing a lot for them. And the Besakhi, I will say it represents an unending friendship between Sikhs and Muslims,” he said.

On the occasion, ETPB Chairman Siddiqul Farooq said the Government would continue serving the Sikh and Hindu pilgrims by maintaining their worship places, besides facilitating them in visiting Pakistan all the time.

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