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Peace is our priority, says Pakistan Envoy Abdul Basit; claims that India violated ceasefire 57 times

Wednesday, 20 August 2014 - 12:40pm IST | Agency: dna webdesk

Pakistan's Envoy Abdul Basit, on Wednesday, addressed the Indian media on the recent diplomatic failures of between the two nations that resulted in India cancelling Foreign Secretary level talks.

"Our priority is to promote peace and regional security," he stated. "Time has come for the two countries to move from confrontation to cooperation. We must engage with a comprehensive and meaningful dialogue,time has come to move forward," Basit urged. 

However, on the issue of repeated ceasefire violations by the Pakistan Army, he claimed, "I would like to tell you that India has violated the ceasefire 57 times. So yes we need to resolve it."

He lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Independence Day speech, "Appreciate PM Modi's words on Independence Day that SAARC nations need to work together to fight issues like poverty," he said.

On the delicate subject of Kashmir, Basit said, "Kashmir is a dispute which needs to be resolved peacefully, since both countries committed to resolving it."

"We need to look at these Kashmir issues dispassionately and in a more realistic manner," he urged.

However, defending Pakistan's meeting with Kashmiri separatist leaders, he said that it has been a long standing practice to engage with stakeholders. "Kashmiris are legitimate stakeholders in finding a peaceful solution to the issue." He also stated that Indian diplomats too engage in talks with Baloch leaders.

On the cancellation of foreign secretary talks, he expressed regret. "Though its a setback that foreign secretary talks were called off, but it should not discourage us. Wave to take the peace process forward."

On the issue of terrorism and militancy, he said, "We too have lost 15000 people to terrorism. We have resolved to cleanse our land from all militants within 8-10 weeks."

"Pakistan Army operations are underway in Waziristan," he informed.


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