ISLAMABAD: As the election season unfolds in the world’s largest democracy, Pakistan says that it is ‘unfortunate’ that Pakistan has once again become an election issue in India.
Responding to statements from Indian politicians, especially ones by BJP’s prime minister hopeful Narendra Modi accusing Pakistan of terrorism, spokesperson at the Foreign Office at the weekly media briefing said: “You know that this is election season in India and unlike Pakistan where India is not an election issue, in India, Pakistan becomes an election issue unfortunately. As regards the allegation, we condemn terrorism. We are ourselves victims of terrorism which has its roots in the events in our region over the last 30 years”.
Kashmir, said the spokesperson, was not an ‘internal’ part of India as there were 20 UN resolutions on the subject and if there was reluctance on the Indian side to resolve this issue bilaterally, common friends could convince India to come to the negotiating table.
“Jammu and Kashmir issue is one of the oldest disputes on UN Security Council agenda. The UN has an observer mission here – UNMOGIP. The Under Secretary General of UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations recently visited Pakistan and he also went to the Line of Control (LoC).So, there is no denying the fact that it is an internationally recognised dispute,” added the spokesperson.
Earlier, after the government put on hold an agreement on trade ties with India till a new government emerges in Delhi, it says that both countries have “to move like other regions towards developing good neighbourly relations, forging economic ties, increasing people to people contacts”.
On Nuclear Suppliers Group the spokesperson said Pakistan qualified to be a member of the Group (NSG) on non-discriminatory basis as selective approach undermined credibility and the recent Nuclear Summit in the Hague saw Pakistan’s credentials as a responsible nuclear state being acknowledged.
“We have sought access to nuclear technology to meet our energy requirements and for use in the medical and agricultural fields. We, on our own, adhere to the guidelines that NSG issues from time to time. We are interested and we feel that we qualify for inclusion. Not only that we adhere to the criteria. There are already voices that are suggesting that it is unrealistic to keep Pakistan outside the NSG. We hope that we will be able to convince the Nuclear Suppliers Group in this regard”, said the spokesperson. On Syria she said the US had not shared any information regarding al-Qaeda militants travelling from Pakistan into Syria.