The Pakistani PM wants to talk to India about "burning issues as Kashmir."
Shehbaz Sharif, the prime minister of Pakistan, has asked the United Arab Emirates to assist in settling the disagreements between the two neighbors and has called for discussions with India to tackle "hot issues like Kashmir."
In an interview with Al Arabiya that aired on Tuesday, Sharif, who had described the UAE as a "brotherly country" while visiting there last week, said: "I will give my word that we would talk to India with sincerity, but it takes two to tango."
Sharif stated, "Let us sit down at the table and have genuine and sincere talks to tackle our burning concerns, especially Kashmir. That is my message to the Indian leadership and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Since the two nations' independence from British rule in 1947, the Himalayan region of Kashmir has been a source of tension between them. Three wars have been fought between the two nuclear-armed neighbors since then, two of which were fought over Kashmir, which both countries claim to be the entirety of but only control portions of.
"We live close by. Let's be frank about it. Even if we didn't choose to live next to each other, we will always be there, thus it is up to us to coexist peacefully. We've grown from our mistakes. Three wars have been fought between us and India, and the result has only increased suffering, unemployment, and poverty, he claimed.
Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which gave Kashmir's administration by the Hindu nationalist government led by Prime Minister Modi, was repealed four years ago.
Strong anti-Indian sentiments increased in the wake of the decision, sparking a wave of widespread protests by the populace and a severe government crackdown that followed.
Pakistan vehemently refutes the allegations made by India that it is still supporting armed insurgents in the Kashmir valley, claiming that it only supports this struggle diplomatically.
Both nations must consider their futures, Sharif added, calling the Indian state's activities in Kashmir "flagrant human rights crimes taking place day in and day out."
"This must end so that the world may understand that India is open to dialogue and that we are more than willing to engage in it. The message I want to convey to Mr. Modi is that we want to use our riches as tools to create prosperity.
"We both own nuclear weapons. God forbid, who will survive a war to relate what happened? There is no way to do this.
In a subsequent statement issued by Sharif’s office, it was clarified that the prime minister has consistently maintained that talks with India can only happen once the revocation of Article 370 is reversed.
"The Prime Minister has consistently stressed for the record that negotiations cannot proceed unless India retracts its illegal move from August 5, 2019; without India's retracting this action, talks cannot proceed. In line with UN resolutions and the aspirations of the Jammu and Kashmiri people, the Kashmir problem must be resolved, the statement stated.
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