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Pakistan must respect our sentiments, says Khurshid

Special Correspondent
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Create conducive atmosphere for meaningful dialogue

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz during a meeting at Gurgaon on Tuesday.— Photo: PTI
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz during a meeting at Gurgaon on Tuesday.— Photo: PTI

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid met Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Foreign Affairs advisor Sartaj Aziz on the margins of the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) here on Tuesday.

Speaking to journalists, Mr. Khurshid identified two prerequisites for meaningful dialogue— respecting ‘sentiments and sensitivities’ in a reference to Mr. Aziz meeting Hurriyat leaders and avoiding ‘counterproductive’ actions such as ceasefire violations. “For meaningful dialogue to take place, conducive circumstances have to be created and that has to be done by both sides. It cannot be only from one side. Some of these events have been somewhat counterproductive, unfortunately,” he said.

The Minister said he did not want to give “gratuitous advice” to the Pakistani delegation but “if there is seriousness in wanting to communicate and have a meaningful dialogue with India for sustainable peace, it will be necessary to respect India’s point of view and our sentiments and sensitivities.”

“This is not a dialogue that happens in isolation and needs public support. And we think that we have done a great deal to help Pakistan government to get the public support that it needs to be able to have a transparent dialogue with India,” he said.


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