Want to leave behind legacy of peace; ready for dialogue with India for prosperity, development: PM

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ASTANA : Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday said that he was “absolutely ready” to have dialogue with India for resolution of Kashmir dispute as he wanted to leave behind a legacy of peace and progress for the prosperity of coming generations.

Addressing the 6th Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana, the prime minister said Pakistan was “absolutely ready and willing for a discussion with Indian counterparts to promote trade and investment provided they showed the sincerity of purpose”.

“India has become a threat to its minorities, neighbours and the entire region,” he remarked.

“I want to leave behind a legacy of peace and progress for the prosperity of the coming generations of our region,” said the prime minister who spoke at length about the regional issues, including Kashmir and Palestine, and revival of peace in Afghanistan calling for their dialogue-based resolution.

Highlighting the human rights abuses in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the prime minister said the Kashmiris faced continued denial of their right to self-determination.

He urged other countries to take notice of the human rights violations in the IIOJK, which was the manifestation of Indian policy of preferring bullet over ballot as the country had also blatantly quashed the United Nations Security Council’s resolution on holding a plebiscite in Kashmir.

He told the gathering that Pakistan was willing to “conditionally engage with India” for the sake of prosperity and development as both sides of the border could not afford to deal with massive challenges of poverty and unemployment amid meager resources.

He stressed that the people deserved the resources to be diverted to their education and health.

He, however, said the “onus remains on India to take necessary steps to engage towards the result-oriented solutions”.

“Through constructive dialogue, we can build mutual trust,” he remarked and mentioned Pakistan’s location offering a natural bridge among various economies of the region.

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