June 10, 2016
Blaming Pakistan to run away from negotiations is not justified
ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz explained to India that making terrorism an excuse for running away from negotiations is not justified.
During an exclusive interview to Indian newspaper Hindustan Times in Islamabad Sartaj Aziz said that we (Pakistan and India) have had good cooperation on Pathankot and even sent a team to India. Blaming us for not doing enough is not justified.“It is for India to decide whether they want to break the logjam or not. We don’t deny the need for a discussion on terrorism and it is one of the eight topics under the comprehensive dialogue,” he added.He said that India falsely blamed that the groups and individuals are sponsored by our agencies but its own national investigation agency has said that Pakistan’s agencies were not involved in Phathankot.
While answering a question as to why Pakistan took China’s help toblock the move, Sartaj Aziz said, “India is presuming Jaish-e-Mohammed chief MasoodAzhar’s guilt by seeking a ban on him. But we follow a principled position on this. The Security Council system is meant for al Qaeda and related organisations but India is trying to use the forum to point fingers at Pakistan vis-a-vis groups and individuals”. He also acknowledged, “As far as Pakistan is concerned, friendly relations with all our neighbours remain our cornerstone but there are obstacles. The lack of trust is the most obvious obstacle and the only way forward in overcoming the trust deficit is dialogue”. Offering a solution to this problem he said, “The resumption of dialogue will provide the opportunity to discuss all issues so that Modi’s visit can provide the basis for further initiatives”.
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