The Jammu and Kashmir issue is one of the oldest disputes on the United Nations Security Council agenda and it is not an internal affair of India, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Tasnim Aslam.

Responding to questions at the weekly media briefing on Thursday, she said “What the Prime Minister essentially said in The Hague is that if there is reluctance on the Indian side to resolve this issue bilaterally, our common friends can help convince India to come to the negotiating table.” Mr. Nawaz Sharif had requested for U.S. mediation and international help to resolve Kashmir on his visit to The Hague for the International Nuclear Security Summit. India has ruled out any third party mediation in the matter.

Ms. Aslam said the U.N. has an observer mission here — the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan. The Under Secretary-General of U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations recently visited Pakistan and he also went to the Line of Control (LoC). So, there is no denying the fact that it is an internationally recognised dispute. “Now the choice we have is to move like other regions towards developing good neighbourly relations, forging economic ties, increasing people to people contacts so that people in this region can also benefit from regional trade and economic cooperation and connectivity,” she said. “People in region also deserve to reap the benefits of economic cooperation. It is, therefore, important that Pakistan and India resolve this dispute through dialogue, she added.