By Asghar Ali Mubarak
ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri has said that Pakistan and India need to discuss all outstanding issues, including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute with a view to seek peaceful resolution of this longstanding dispute as per international legitimacy.
While addressing the weekly news briefing in Islamabad on Friday, Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said that durable peace, security and development in South Asia hinge on peaceful resolution of longstanding Kashmir issue.
He said the Kashmir dispute remains the central point to any meaningful engagement between India and Pakistan but unfortunately, India vitiated the environment through its illegal and unilateral actions of August 5, 2019, State Media reported. Chaudhri added that the onus is therefore on New Delhi to create an enabling environment for a meaningful and result-oriented dialogue between Pakistan and India. Regarding the role of third-party facilitation in the resolution of the Kashmir dispute, the FO spokesperson said Pakistan has always maintained that the international community has an important role to play in averting risk to peace and stability in the region. Responding to a question, Chaudhri said Pakistan is a peace-loving country, but at the same time, it is resolutely resolved to defend itself against any misadventure. He said Pakistan continues to promote peace, security and stability in the region for the prosperity of its own people and of the South Asian region as a whole.
While answering a question, he said the false spin by the Indian media that Sikh Yatrees are stranded in Pakistan is unfortunate. He added Pakistan remains committed to facilitating Sikh Yatrees from around the world, including from India for visiting their religious sights.