Islamabad, Aug.28 (ANI): The recent violations of the November 2003 cease-fire agreement reached between India and Pakistan; have proved to be a huge setback for the resumption of bilateral composite dialogue between the governments of the two countries, admitted Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Special Advisor on Foreign and Security Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Wednesday.
In an interview given to Dawn TV, Aziz said that even to this date, India has not been able to prove on substantiate its claim that the Pakistan Army was directly or indirectly involved in cease-fire violations that allegedly took place on August 6, and resulted in the ambushed death of five Indian soldiers.
New Delhi, he said, has repeatedly altered its statements on the event
He further went on to say that Islamabad had offered New Delhi joint investigations under U.N. supervision to ascertain what led to the cease-fire violations on the LOC and to the deaths or injuries of security and civilian personnel in the area, but New Delhi refused to accept the proposal.
"We have tried not to escalate the situation on the border because we feel any such step will have a long-term impact on the relationship between India and Pakistan," Aziz said during the interview.
He revealed that prior to the cease-fire violation episodes, the officials and leaderships of Pakistan and India had started talks again on issues such as water, Sir Creek and Kashmir, and were in the process of laying the ground for a resumption of the suspended bilateral composite dialogue, but all of this was negated by some elements in both Pakistan and India, who did not want a normalization of ties between the two countries.
He recalled having met Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2005, and the latter telling him then that, "One of my goals in life is to establish a durable peace between India and Pakistan, and if I succeed in this, I will get a footnote in history."
Aziz said that when Nawaz Sharif won the general elections in May this year, he had said that he wanted to restart the talks' process that had got derailed after the 1999 Lahore Declaration, the onset of the Kargil War and the bloodless military coup that removed him from power in October of the same year.
Aziz said that a clear indication of the possibility of the composite dialogue being resumed between Pakistan and India, could be gleaned from the fact that Prime Minister Sharif had spoken twice with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after winning elections and assuming office, that Prime Minister Singh's Special Representative for Pakistan Satinder K. Lambah had been sent twice to Islamabad for talks with Prime Minister Sharif and that former Pakistan foreign secretary Shahryar Khan had also come to New Delhi and had had a fruitful engagement with the Indian leadership.
He said that both sides took six weeks to decide on the agenda for the two heads of government to take up on the sidelines of this year's U.N. General Assembly session in New York to set the ball rolling for the resumption of the composite dialogue, but the unfortunate events of August 6 and thereafter, delivered a huge setback.
Aziz also said that India is not comfortable with Pakistan's relationship with China and Afghanistan.
He also questioned New Delhi's oft repeated charge that the Pakistan establishment and the armed forces were not on the same page.
"This is just an excuse by those who don't want to move on the peace process. The Pakistan Army also wants internal and external peace and stability, besides the economic betterment of Pakistan," he said. (ANI)