Nawaz Sharif for third party mediation to resolve Kashmir issue

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Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that Kashmir was “a critical point” between India and Pakistan, has now said that there was need for a third party mediation to solve the issue and end the stalemate.

“At present there are no bilateral talks on the K-issue. In such a scenario, third party mediation is a must and if India doesn’t accept a third party role, then there is a stalemate,” Sharif told the media after his meeting with US President Barack Obama. “This stalemate needs to be addressed,” he added.

Sharif further added that he raised the Kashmir issue in all his meetings with Obama. “It (K-issue) also figured in the joint statement,” Sharif said, adding that all of them have recognised Kashmir was a critical point and needs to be resolved.

“Unfortunately, Pakistan has not received the response it needed from India on its peace initiative,” he said, adding that the US President during the meeting agreed that Kashmir issue needs to be resolved.

While India has dismissed third-party mediation on K-issue and maintains that all outstanding matters in the Indo-Pak ties should be resolved bilaterally.

In response to a question on the Indo-Pak relationship, he recalled his visit to New Delhi to attend the swearing in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During the meeting, he said, he offered Modi to revive the peace process from where he and former premier Atal Bihari Vajpayee left, in Lahore, in 1999.

Sharif said, he urged Modi that the duo must talk and resolve the issues between the two countries. “He agreed for talks and then cancelled the foreign secretary-level talks,” said the Pakistan PM.

“Had the Indian Prime Minister talked to me, things would have been different. But he took such a decision without consulting me,” said Sharif. He said a set of three dossiers on alleged Indian activities in Pakistan were handed over to the Secretary of State John Kerry yesterday.

He said that firing on the Line of Control (LoC) was discussed during his talks with US leaders, alleging ceasefire has been “brutally violated” not only on the LoC, but also on the actual boundary.

Pakistan, he said, wants to improve ties with its neighbours. Sharif also said his government was committed to taking strict action against terrorists. “It’s our responsibility. This is also part of your National Action Plan…We know what is in our interest,” he said when asked if he would fulfil his commitment to take action against LeT.

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