IINTERNATIONAL DESK: Days after Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif called for “serious and sincere talks” with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on “burning issues like Kashmir”, India on Thursday said it always wanted normal neighbourly ties with Pakistan but there should be an atmosphere free from terror and violence for such a relationship.
The Ministry of External Affairs’ official spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Thursday, “We have said that we have always wanted normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan. But there should be a conducive atmosphere in which there is no terror, hostility or violence. That remains our position.”
Speaking in an interview to Dubai-based Al Arabiya TV, Sharif had said that his country has learnt its lesson after three wars with India that “only brought more misery, poverty, and unemployment”, and wants peace with its neighbour. He also sought the intervention of UAE ruler Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to bring India and Pakistan together for talks.
After the interview was tweeted by Pakistan’s ruling party, Sharif’s PML(N), his office drew a firmer line and said he has consistently maintained that Pakistan and India must resolve bilateral issues, especially the core issue of J&K, through dialogue and peaceful means. (The Indian Express)