Pakistan, India agree border tension a setback to dialogue

Islamabad, Sep 3 (IANS) Pakistan and India Tuesday came up with a unanimous view that the ongoing escalations along the Line of Control (LoC) in the disputed Kashmir region have derailed efforts at resumption of dialogue process.

Forces of both countries routinely trade fire that caused casualties and increased tensions between the uneasy nuclear neighbours.

Both accuse each other of violating the 2003 ceasefire along the LoC that divides the two countries in Kashmir region.

Sartaj Aziz, advisor to the Pakistani prime minister on national security and foreign affairs, Tuesday received Indian High Commissioner T.C.A Raghavan and both discussed the impact of the LoC tensions on bilateral relations, Xinhua reported.

"Both sides have to show maturity and move forward in a positive manner to resolve outstanding issues and put in a place a sustainable dialogue process," Sartaj Aziz said in the meeting.

The advisor stressed the importance of resuming the bilateral dialogue process and reiterated Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's commitment to normalising relations with India.

He stated that there was great hope within the present government of picking up the threads from the Lahore Declaration of 1999, when then Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited Pakistan and embarked upon a new phase of Pakistan-India relations.

"The tension along the LoC seemed to have derailed this process, which was unfortunate," the advisor said.

High Commissioner Raghavan also viewed the LoC incidents as a "setback" in the dialogue process and said that, while there was a feeling in India also to continue to engage with Pakistan, incidents such as the recent one on the LoC raised doubts on Pakistan's sincerity.

He felt that both countries needed to work towards forging a common policy on combating terrorism that would help in allaying misperceptions that existed, the foreign ministry said in a statement.


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