Regarding prospects of a meeting between Pakistani and Indian officials who are in New York for the 69th session of the UN General Assembly, Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry Friday said that if Indians are interested in a meeting, they should approach the Pakistani side.
“The onus is on India since it cancelled the foreign secretary-level talks which were scheduled to be held in Islamabad last month in a resumption of the peace dialogue,” Chaudhry said.
Pakistan desired peaceful relations in South Asia but after unilateral cancellation of the Pakistan-India talks, the ball is now in New Delhi’s court vis-a-vis revival of the peace process, Chaudhry said.
He said officials from the two countries have not had any meeting during a Commonwealth foreign ministers’ conference, Dawn online reported citing Asscoiated Press of Pakistan (APP).
He also revealed to journalists during a briefing that Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would speak about the decades-old Jammu and Kashmir dispute in his address to the UN General Assembly.
Islamabad believed, as part of its core policy, that Kashmiris should have the right to self-determination, Chaudhry said.
Responding to a question, he said Pakistan has a longstanding policy to engage Kashmiri leaders as part of its consultation process. He said the Kashmir issue could not just be wished away.
Chaudhry, who is part of the delegation led by Sharif, said Pakistan was not part of the international coalition being cobbled to fight Islamic State (IS) militants.
He said Islamabad has no confirmation that any Pakistani is fighting alongside IS militants in Iraq or Syria.
Besides, he said, Prime Minister Sharif was having bilateral meetings with world leaders, including US Vice President Joseph Biden, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.