Pakistan set pre-conditions for “meaningful dialogue” with India

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Pakistan on Tuesday set five pre-conditions for the resumption of “meaningful dialogue” with India to resolve all outstanding issues including the longstanding Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) dispute.

In an interview to Indian journalist Karan Thapar, Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Security Dr Moeed Yousaf said that Pakistan desired peaceful ties with India and wanted to resolve all issues through dialogue.

However, he asserted that for any meaningful dialogue to take place between the two neighbours, India has to release all political prisoners in Kashmir, end inhuman blockade and restrictions, rescind domicile law that allows non-Kashmiris to settle in the disputed territory, stop human rights abuses and end state terrorism in Pakistan.

This is the first time Pakistan put forward its pre-conditions for the resumption of talks with India since the Modi government revoked the special status of IIOJK.

Interestingly, Moeed did not mention the restoration of the special status of IIOJK as one of the pre-conditions for restarting talks with India.

On August 5, 2019, New Delhi had revoked Article 370 and 35-A of the Indian Constitution that gave Kashmir a special status. Pakistan condemned the move and termed it a violation of UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements that sought to maintain status quo till the final settlement.

But, the latest statement by Moeed suggested that Pakistan is not pressing for restoration of pre-August 5 status of Kashmir.

“Pakistan would be ready for dialogue with India if Modi government accepts those preconditions,” Moeed said. The PM special assistant also spoke about Indian intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing’s (RAW’s), involvement in terrorism in Pakistan.

“Pakistan had evidence that the mastermind of December 2014 APS terrorist attack in Peshawar was in contact with RAW,” he said.

The SAPM added that India used its missions in one of the neighbouring countries of Pakistan to facilitate and sponsor terrorist attack at a five-star Hotel in Gwadar, Chinese Consulate in Karachi and the Pakistan Stock Exchange.

“India spent $1 million to ensure the merger of different TTP factions in Afghanistan,” he added.

Moeed added Prime Minister Imran Khan wanted a peaceful neighbourhood but India’s expansionist and Hindutva policies were the main hurdles in the way of peace.

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