Khurshid downplays Pak PM's remark on Kashmir, calls for peace

New Delhi, Aug. 20 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Tuesday avoided commenting on Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's remark that Kashmir is a 'national issue', saying priority should be given to peace and enforcement of cease-fire along the Line of Control (LoC).

Khurshid said that he did not want to get engaged with Pakistan's Prime Minister because the latter was addressing his own constituency and country.

"It cannot be a matter of debate. But the priority is that we have to protect our interest on the Line of Control. Very unfortunate incidents have happened and are continuing to happen," said Khurshid.

"I think it's important that priority should be given to peace and enforcement of ceasefire and maintenance of ceasefire along the Line of Control," he added.

To a poser on the Indian Government's action following the continuous ceasefire violations along the LoC, Khurshid said Defence Minister A.K. Antony has already indicated that he has taken close watch of what is happening.

"All necessary steps to maintain the sanctity of the Line of Control and the sovereignty and security of our country, he is ensuring, will be taken," he added.

In his first address to the nation since assuming office in June, the Pakistani Prime Minister yesterday said that the leadership of both countries must take responsibility to resolve the Kashmir issue, and added that he has constantly maintained that it is pivotal that good relations are maintained with India.

According to Geo TV, Sharif said that Kashmir is a national issue and a solution on it needs to be arrived by both India and Pakistan.

"Kashmir is a national issue. Wars of the past have ruined our leadership and it is the responsibility of the leadership of both Pakistan and India. Stability and prosperity of a nation is linked to good relations with its neighbours," Sharif said.

"I have always stressed the importance of good relations with India," he added.

The tension between India and Pakistan has been high in recent weeks, after the Pakistani Army ambushed six Indian soldiers on August 6 in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch District. (ANI)


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