Pakistan wants a meaningful dialogue with India, but the onus to create a conducive environment is on India, the foreign office stated.

In a press briefing Friday, spokesperson for the Foreign Office Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said Pakistan is evaluating whether India has created a conducive environment for talks. He said Pakistan is desirous of good relations with all its neighbours, including India, but the Kashmir conflict must first be resolved.

“We want to solve all issues, including Kashmir, through dialogue with India,” he stated. “There is no change in Pakistan’s position on Kashmir.”

For normalcy to resume between the two countries, India must reverse the actions of August 5, 2019, that revoked the autonomous status of occupied Kashmir, he said.

He said that countries talk even during war, and Pakistan has never shied away from dialogue, adding that Prime Minister Imran Khan maintains Pakistan will take two steps forward if India takes one.

Pakistan also appreciates the United States’ efforts for encouraging dialogue between the neighbouring countries, he added.

The spokesperson said India must timely release Pakistani prisoners who have completed their sentences. “India always delays the release of prisoners,” he said. “Pakistan believes in the earliest release on humanitarian grounds.”

The foreign office spokesperson also addressed rumours of the Indian prime minister visiting Pakistan for SAARC, dismissing the reports as baseless.

Regarding Afghanistan, the foreign office maintained that the peace process is at a critical juncture.

He also added that Pakistan is currently in talks with the United Arab Emirates over the travel ban imposed on Pakistanis.

Anas Mallick is an international journalist who has been working as a field reporter for 7+ years now. With a focus on diplomacy, militancy, and conflict, Mallick's expertise involve Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan. He tweets at @AnasMallick


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