New Delhi: After India’s discussion with European Union Commissioner Christos Stylianides on the need for bilateral dialogue with Pakistan, the neighbouring country on Saturday has agreed for the same on a ‘conditional’ basis.
A Pakistani media quoted Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi saying, “Pakistan ready for ‘conditional’ bilateral talks with India.”
Qureshi suggested that Pakistan can initiate a dialogue with India on the condition that the latter releases political leadership who are under house arrest. He asserted that the Kashmir issue is a three-way matter that involves India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir.
Qureshi also said that Pakistan was always in favour of the idea of holding dialogue at a bilateral level, shifting from Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statement that there are no chances of a dialogue with India following its actions on former state Jammu and Kashmir.
India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday stated that it is willing to discuss outstanding issues with the neighbouring country after the EU insisted that the two neighbours should re-open a bilateral dialogue through diplomatic channels to de-escalate tensions in the Kashmir region.
Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan, however, has been firm on not looking for any dialogue initiative with India. Khan had even threatened of ‘war’ as India’s decision in Jammu and Kashmir could lead to a full-blown confrontation between the two nuclear powers. The Pakistan PM had lashed out at the Indian leadership calling the abrogation an ‘illegal unilateral decision’ of Narendra Modi government.
Narendra Modi-led BJP government had revoked Article 370 on August 5 in the Parliament, taking away the special status granted to the former state of Jammu and Kashmir. Following it, the two countries have been in a war-like situation.