India, Pak should resolve issues through dialogue for durable peace: senior Pak diplomat

New Delhi, Mar 23 (PTI) India and Pakistan should resolve all bilateral issues, especially that of Jammu and Kashmir, through dialogue for durable peace and stability in the region, a senior Pakistani diplomat said here on Tuesday.

In a statement to reporters on the sidelines of Pakistan Day celebrations at the Pakistan High Commission here, Aftab Hasan Khan, Charges D”Affaires of the mission, said, “On this occasion, I would…like to emphasise that peace and stability in this region is essential for development of all the countries.”

Pakistan would like to have good neighbourly relations with all its neighbours, especially India, he said.

“For durable peace and stability, it is essential that we resolve all bilateral issues with negotiations, through dialogue, especially the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir, which is also essential and pending and a long standing issue before the United Nations,” he said.

Khan did not take any questions from the reporters on the occasion.

His remarks come after last month both the countries announced that they would strictly observe “all agreements, understandings and cease firing” along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir and “all other sectors” with effect from midnight of February 24-25.

In his speech here during the celebrations, Khan said, “If we (Pakistanis) do our work with diligence, dedication and honesty within our spheres and in line with the contours laid down by Jinnah like unity, faith and discipline, there is no reason Pakistan won”t achieve great development.”

It is necessary to maintain peace in the region and Pakistan wants good relations with all its neighbours, he noted.

“It is necessary that instead of military prowess, we endeavour to alleviate poverty and eliminate illiteracy and also make efforts to achieve feats to deal with epidemics and climate change. It is only possible when peace and stability is ensured in this region,” he said.

“For this, all our issues must be settled by dialogue, especially Jammu and Kashmir issue which has been pending for 70 years,” he added.

Earlier this month, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla had said India desired good neighbourly ties with Pakistan and was committed to addressing issues, if any, bilaterally, but any meaningful dialogue could only be held in a conducive atmosphere and the onus was on Islamabad to create it. PTI