ISLAMABAD: On Monday, Prime Minister Sheikh Baz Sharif asked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hold serious and sincere talks to resolve pressing issues including Kashmir, saying that the leadership of the United Arab Emirates can Play an important role in sitting down and negotiating with Pakistan.
Speaking to Al Arabiya news channel, the Prime Minister said: “My message to the Indian leaders and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is, let’s sit down and have a serious and sincere dialogue to resolve pressing issues like Kashmir .
“In Kashmir, flagrant human rights violations are happening on a daily basis.”
With the autonomy revoked in August 2019, India has usurped any semblance of autonomy given to Kashmiris under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, the prime minister said.
Minorities in India are being persecuted, he said, adding that India must stop this to send a message to the world that the country is ready for meaningful dialogue.
In the interview, Shehbaz told Modi “let’s sit down and have a serious, sincere talk”
Mr Shehbaz reminded the world that India and Pakistan are neighbors and they must live in harmony. “Live in peace, make progress or argue with each other, wasting time and resources, it’s up to us. We have fought three wars with India and this has only brought more misery, poverty and unemployment to the people. We have learned our lesson , if we can solve real problems, we want to live in peace. We want to alleviate poverty, achieve prosperity, provide our people with education and medical facilities and jobs, instead of wasting our resources on bombs and ammunition, that is My message to Prime Minister Modi,” he added.
“We are a nuclear power, armed to the teeth, and if God forbid war breaks out, who will live to say what happened,” he said.
He said that Saudi Arabia is a friendly brotherly country, and the two countries have enjoyed a unique brotherhood for centuries.
He recalled that before Pakistan was formed and split from India, millions of Muslims who had a brotherly relationship with Saudi Arabia were visiting Mecca and Medina.
The Prime Minister said that the UAE is the second home of millions of Pakistanis and that as Prime Minister he had a successful visit to the country. He said that Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed is Pakistan’s beloved brother and great supporter, wishing the Pakistani people progress and prosperity. Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan is also a good friend of Pakistan and Pakistan is in his soul.
“The leaders of Pakistan and the Gulf countries are determined to cooperate with each other in the fields of trade and culture to mold Islam as a religion of peace and avoid all forms of terrorism. We work together as strategic partners,” he added.
The prime minister said Pakistan’s plight and difficulties would not have been lessened without the tangible and substantive support of its reliable and trustworthy partners, the Gulf fraternal countries and Saudi Arabia. He said Pakistan is a resilient and courageous nation that will stand on its own feet by promoting trade and investment.
Posted on Dawn, January 17, 2023