Pakistan to welcome if U.S mediates with India on Kashmir issue: FO

Pakistan to welcome if U.S mediates with India on Kashmir issue: FO

ISLAMABAD (APP): Pakistan on Thursday said it would welcome if the United States played a mediatory role with India in resolution of issues, particularly the Kashmir dispute.

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"We continue to urge our American friends including those in the administration to mediate between Pakistan and India, particularly on Kashmir...and have welcomed this in the past as well," the Foreign Office Spokesman said in a weekly press briefing held here.

Spokesman Nafees Zakaria, however, declined to comment on the statement of U.S presidential candidate Donald Trump who offered to mediate between the two South Asian neighbours, if elected, terming it a media report.

To a question on U.S demand of hitting at specific militant groups, the Spokesman said Pakistan did not draw distinction against any group in its efforts to eliminate terrorists.

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"We are determined and well-resolute in eradicating terrorism," he said, adding that the sacrifices of 70,000 Pakistanis who lost their lives in this fight had been acknowledged by the U.S political elite from time to time.

Zakaria said India had been "ridiculously failed" in its attempt to isolate Pakistan.

"India's negative policies to disrupt development process of the region and its claim for peaceful neighbourhood have been exposed before international community," he said.

Commenting on a statement of Indian home minister Rajnath Singh blaming Pakistan of harbouring terrorism, the Spokesman said the remarks did not reflect India's own subversive activities in Pakistan, from terror-financing to using Afghan soil against Pakistan.

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When asked to comment on India misusing its influence on South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), Zakaria said, "We deplore this Indian decision [postponement] to use SAARC for its political ambitions."

He mentioned that SAARC in the past had been postponed for eight times, and five times it was because of India.

Whether Pakistan was considering to set up a South Asian economic alliance to counter Indian hold on SAARC, the Spokesman said Pakistan being at the confluence of South Asia, Central Asia and West Asia already was already in the making of an economic hub of the region.

The Spokesman said Pakistan's continued effort to highlight Indian atrocities in Kashmir at international fora had mounted immense pressure on India, which in reaction was desperately committing human rights violations in the Valley.

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On reports of secret talks recently held between Afghan government and Taliban in Qatar, Zakaria said Pakistan would not like to comment on Taliban's rapprochement with any other country.

He said Pakistan supported politically-initiated settlement of the Afghan issue aiming at peace, adding that negotiations with any other faction was an intra-Afghan matter.