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Stop blame game, Pakistan tells India

07 October, 2013

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HYDERABAD DECCAN: Pakistan's High Commissioner to India Salman Bashir on Sunday said India should desist from blame game and hurling baseless allegations on Pakistan, as they harm bilateral relations and add to tensions between the two countries.

Bashir slammed the reports of Pakistan Army involvement in the Line of Control incursions as baseless. Speaking on the alleged involvement of Pakistan in Karen infiltrations, Salman Bashir said that the reports were "baseless". "Let competent authorities (military authorities) deal with it," he said. While strongly defending Pakistan, Bashir said, "Militancy and terrorism has affected us directly. Instead of pointing finger at us, look at the casualties we have suffered." The high commissioner also reiterated that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif did not use the term "village woman" for his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh, adding there was a lot of respect for Singh in Pakistan.

"There is no truth behind Pakistani prime minister's alleged 'dehati aurat' remark," he said. Salman Bashir said good neighbourly relations between the two countries are vital for peace, progress and prosperity in the region. He said Pakistan wants friendly ties with India, as it is in the best interest of the two country's people. He emphasised on confidence-building measures and dialogue to resolve all outstanding issues, including Kashmir, between the two countries, and said India should desist from blame game and making baseless allegations against Pakistan.

The Pakistani high commissioner said there was need for a "broad-ranging, sincere and clear sighted" dialogue between New Delhi and Islamabad to resolve all issues between the two countries. "If there are issues (for India), we have concerns equally. Let us address each others' concerns, and the logical and rational way forward...the civilised way is to have a dialogue. Pakistan is ready for this," the high commissioner, who is on a three-day visit to Hyderabad, told a press conference.

Bashir also stressed on the need to reinforce ceasefire along the Line of Control as he denied as "baseless" the reports of terrorists "incursions" into Indian territory from Pakistan. "There is a will and determination on both sides to build friendship and improve relations. The one logical way for this and to resolve all issues is through dialogue. That is essential for the development of the two nations," the high commissioner said.

"We have no second thoughts. In Pakistan's national interest, we need to have good relations with India. Aspirations in the two nations are the same. Ground realities should be looked at in an objective way," he said. Reacting to a question on incursions from Pakistan into India, Bashir claimed, "All this narration you are hearing about incursions and infiltrations is baseless. But, rather than commenting on this very negative narrative about incursion...what we have been saying and say again, and repeat...let the competent authorities, the military authorities, deal with this issue."


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