Offers many for Kashmir mediation, progress possible if India accepts: Pak

The report prepared for US lawmakers by the bipartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) said Khan had no governance experience prior to winning his current office
The report prepared for US lawmakers by the bipartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) said Khan had no governance experience prior to winning his current office

Pakistan said on Thursday (August 22) that there were many offers of mediation on Kashmir, but any progress will be possible only if India accepted them.

Tensions between India and Pakistan spiked after New Delhi abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories.

India maintains that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and there was no role for a third party.

“There are mediation offers coming from many countries but we cannot move forward until India accepts (those offers),” Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) Mohammad Faisal said while addressing a press conference in Islamabad.

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US President Donald Trump in July had said that he would like to mediate between India and Pakistan and that his offer was made after a request from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Ministry of External Affairs has denied that Modi made such an offer.

Faisal also condemned the “curfew-like” situation in Kashmir and said that India was committing grave human rights violations.

To a question about prime minister Imran Khan’s rhetoric against Indian counterpart, Faisal said, “Whatever our prime minister says about Modi, I stand by it.”

The spokesperson also said that Pakistan was committed to operationalise the Kartarpur Corridor on time. The corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Pakistans Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims, who will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib, which was established in 1522 by Sikh faith founder Guru Nanak Dev.

“Our effort and desire is that Kartarpur opens on time,” he said. He also said that a meeting on Kartarpur will be held soon but so far not decision has been taken about it.

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