Pakistan today welcomed US President-elect Donald Trump’s “willingness to play any role” in resolving its “outstanding issues”, which it claimed was a reference to Kashmir issue.
“Pakistan welcomes Trump’s willingness to play a role in resolving the outstanding issues between Pakistan and India, including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir,” Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said, a day after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made a congratulatory call to Trump.
He said the telephonic call between Sharif and Trump was a “courtesy call” by the Prime Minister.
He said Pakistan leadership had earlier sent messages of felicitations to the US President-elect on his election victory.
“We attach high importance to our relationship with the US and would like to see it strengthen further. We look forward to closely working with the new administration. The President-elect s intention to visit Pakistan would be warmly welcomed,” he said.
A statement issued by the Pakistan Prime Minister’s Office claimed that Trump lavished praise on Sharif and offered to play “any role” in helping Pakistan address its problems, even as the US President-elect’s transition team just described their discussion as “productive”.
Zakaria said Pakistan has been “forcefully” urging the international community to take note of the “genocide and crimes against humanity” committed by Indian forces in Kashmir.
Commenting on Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz’s visit to India to attend Heart of Asia conference on Sunday, he said it “affords opportunities for meetings on the sidelines.”
“We have said time and again that Pakistan believes in peaceful neighbourhood and have always stressed the need for meaningful dialogue as the only viable solution to lasting peace. Unfortunately, India has been heightening tension at the LoC and Working Boundary,” he said.
“…We have always maintained that all outstanding issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, should be resolved through dialogue,” he said.
He said Pakistan was participating in Heart of Asia Conference as it is committed to contributing towards all efforts and initiatives that are aimed at bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan.
“Peaceful resolution of all the disputes can make our region prosperous,” he said, alleging that India has been “instrumental” in scuttling the SAARC summit and in bringing the bilateral issues in the multilateral arena.
“Pakistan, on the contrary, despite all the negativity of India is ready to attend the Heart of Asia Conference,” he said.
On Indus Waters Treaty, Zakaria said the treaty is binding on both India and Pakistan, especially under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 1969.
“The IWT has an effective dispute resolution mechanism which both India and Pakistan have been utilising in the past.
India has to abide by its international obligations, if it wants to be taken seriously by the international community,” he said