A day after Prime Minister Muhammed Nawaz Sharif said in London that he didn’t see a problem with third party intervention in Kashmir, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry clarified on Thursday that Pakistan is committed to the bilateral dialogue process with India to address all outstanding issues. However, he said Pakistan has also always remained open to third party mediation, especially on the Kashmir dispute, on which there are outstanding resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.
In response to questions at the weekly media briefing, he said Pakistan’s position has been very clear and consistent and issues can be addressed bilaterally through the composite dialogue. ”We hope and expect that the Indian side will engage with us in a meaningful dialogue to resolve outstanding issues,” he added.
He confirmed that Prime Minister’s adviser on Foreign affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz is travelling to India to participate in the Asia-Europe Meeting of Foreign Ministers on November 10 and 11, 2013.
He referred to Mr. Sharif’s statement in London on peace with India, where he said India and Pakistan need to end the tit-for-tat policy. Mr. Chaudhry said it is well known that the present leadership is keen to secure a peaceful neighbourhood around Pakistan and that includes peaceful and good neighbourly relations with India, so that their energies can be spent for the well being of the people of the region.
However, Mr. Sharif told British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who called on him in London on Thursday that he had made sincere efforts to resolve all outstanding issues with India. “We have made India-bashing a non-issue in Pakistan but unfortunately Indian politicians are still engaged in unwarranted Pakistan-bashing," an official statement said.
Meanwhile, with reference to the meeting of the Directors General of Military Operations (DGMO)s of both countries, Mr. Chaudhry said Pakistan is fully committed to implementing the decision of the two Prime Ministers that the DGMOs should meet to resolve the issue of ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) and the Working Boundary. He said the DGMOs are already in touch through hotline contact. “I understand they discussed the matter on October 25 and 29 and concurred to normalize the situation along the LoC and the Working Boundary. A sectoral flag meeting was held between the Pakistan Rangers and the Indian Border Security Force along the Working Boundary on October 29 and both sides agreed to observe a ceasefire and resolve issues through local level flag meetings,” he explained.
After the briefing in response to questions, Mr. Chaudhry did not comment on a news report which alleged an Indian nexus with the Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Afghanistan which was causing terror strikes inside Pakistan. He said he didn’t have the full details. However, he said Pakistan expects Afghanistan not to use its territory for anti-Pakistan activities. It had also demanded the handing over of an arrested Taliban leader. The presence of the TTP in Afghanistan is a matter of concern and a subject of discussion with Afghanistan, he said. "We expect Afghanistan not to allow its territory for cross border terrorism," he added.
The News on Thursday reported that “Pakistan got an endorsement from the US-led NATO-ISAF top command about the existence of a nefarious Kabul-New Delhi nexus harbouring safe havens across the Durand Line. The nexus is being used for subversive activities inside Pakistan to derail the peace process.”
The report said that the recent arrest of TTP second in command Latifullah Mehsud by the US-led NATO forces and his subsequent interrogation has endorsed the Pakistani viewpoint on how the Kabul-New Delhi nexus was actively involved in terrorism inside Pakistan. A report in the New York Times had exposed plans for terror strikes inside Pakistan after a US raid. Mehsud was picked up by US troops while he was travelling with the Afghan army, according to news reports.
Quoting informed sources, The News said that not only it has been confirmed that the recent fatal attack on Major General Sanaullah and two others in Upper Dir was the work of Kabul and New Delhi but the later attacks on the All Saints Church and two other bomb blasts in Peshawar were masterminded by the same nexus and with the help of local militants.