Pakistan wanted to evolve a roadmap to discuss bilateral issues with India during the recent Foreign Minister-level talks but the other side was not prepared to do so, Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said on Saturday.
Though a roadmap was not determined during the talks between Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Indian counterpart S. M. Krishna on July 15, there is hope for progress in future, Mr. Basit told the media.
He expressed the hope that diplomatic channels will be able to explore the possibility of evolving a roadmap for resolving bilateral issues before the next round of talks.
Mr. Basit contended that the Indian side “remained stuck in modalities” on which a lot of time had already been spent.
Pakistan raised all issues with India, including the Kashmir issue, Afghanistan and differences on sharing river waters, he said.
Pakistan wanted to take the talks forward on “core issues” but India was not ready to do so, he claimed.
Islamabad approached the process of engagement with New Delhi with a “very open mind and a positive approach”, he said.
Responding to a question, Mr. Basit said there is no other way but diplomacy and dialogue to solve bilateral disputes between India and Pakistan.
Before his meeting with Mr. Krishna, Mr. Qureshi took all stakeholders, including President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, into confidence and he was fully mandated to take initiatives, Mr. Basit remarked.
Referring to the dragging Kashmir issue, Mr. Basit said Pakistan has a stated position on the issue which cannot be changed.
“We say the Kashmiris are struggling for their right to self-determination and we will keep on providing moral and diplomatic support to their struggle,” he said.
Asked about evidence on India’s alleged involvement in fomenting unrest in Balochistan province, he said this would be shared with New Delhi at an appropriate time as had been stated by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.
Mr. Basit also said Pakistan had raised the 2007 bomb attack on the Samjhauta Express train with the Indian side and asked it to share the findings of the Indian investigation into the incident.
Pakistan will brief U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton about the recently concluded talks with India during her stay in Islamabad for the next round of the Pakistan-U.S. strategic dialogue, Mr. Basit said.