India ‘willing’ to talk Kashmir with Pakistan

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From Our Correspondent

ISLAMABAD: Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale submitting Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar’s reply to an earlier Pakistan invitation for dialogue yesterday expressed his country’s ‘willingness’ for talks with Pakistan on the Kashmir dispute, sources in the Foreign Office said yesterday. However, India also pushed for talks on “certain other issues”, they added. Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry had on Monday invited his Indian counterpart to Pakistan for dialogue on the Kashmir dispute in a letter that “highlighted the international obligations of Pakistan and India with regards to resolving the Kashmir dispute in accordance with United Nations Security Council resolutions”. Sources said the Foreign Office is now preparing a response to India’s reply keeping in mind Pakistan’s historical stance on certain issues, as well as the ongoing situation in Kashmir. Indian foreign ministry sources on Wednesday told international media that talks should focus on the situation in Kashmir, adding that India is willing to send Jaishankar to Pakistan for talks focused on fighting cross-border terrorism. The Indian sources made it clear, however, that India “rejects in their entirety the self-serving allegations regarding the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral part of India”. The move comes as relations between Pakistan and India remain strained days after prime ministers of both countries made controversial statements regarding Kashmir on Aug 14 and 15.

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