Pakistani official dispels notion of ‘charge-sheet’ given by Modi

Sartaj Aziz asserted that although the government was only one day old, the Indian prime minister recognised the need for a dialogue process to address all bilateral issues that stand in the way of better relations between the two countries.

"There was no charge sheet given by Indian Prime Minister rather both the sides expressed their views on all issues of common concern," Aziz told a news briefing here at the Foreign Office.

"We opted for dignified rather than aggressive diplomacy," the top Pakistani diplomat added.

"There was a clear recognition of each other's concerns and the need for mechanisms to address them."

"During the meeting it was clear that both sides were of the view that confrontation should be converted into meaningful cooperation," said Aziz.

"The issue of terrorism also came up to discussion," said Aziz, adding that Prime Minister Sharif informed his Indian counterpart that terrorism was a mutual concern and Pakistan had suffered enormously due to this menace.

"The people and government of Pakistan are serious and committed to fighting terrorism in their own national interest," Aziz quoted the premier as saying.

Answering questions whether Mumbai trial, Samjhota Express and other terrorist attacks were discussed in the meeting, he said, "As you all are aware, all aspects of terrorism have been discussed at different levels in our region. We believe that such issues can be handled only through constant interaction between the concerned authorities of the two countries."

"The prime minister undertook this visit with a clear vision in mind, based on strategic calculation and not just for a photo-op. In order to make this vision a reality, the starting point was for economic revival and development. Without economic revival we cannot fight poverty and unemployment or protect sovereignty of Pakistan," he remarked.

The advisor asserted that a robust economic agenda, which is the priority of the both governments, cannot be advanced without peace in the region.

"Both the leaders agreed that they had the mandate and their respective tenures ahead of them to meet the hope and aspirations of one and half billion people of the two countries," Sartaj Aziz claimed.

He said although the visit was essentially a ceremonial occasion, where Pakistan together with other SAARC countries participated in the spirit of the South Asian fraternity, "the actual result and outcome was much better than we expected."

Sartaj Aziz asserted that although the government was only one day old, the Indian prime minister recognised the need for a dialogue process to address all bilateral issues that stand in the way of better relations between the two countries.

"Both the premiers felt the need to turn a new page in our ties," he remarked.

When asked why PM Sharif did not meet Kashmiri leadership during his visit and whether this was a compromise on Kashmir dispute, Aziz said meeting Kashmiri leadership was not on agenda, however, issue was raised during meeting with Indian premier.

The senior diplomat said that both leaders agreed to intensify their efforts to resolve all issues including Kashmir. The meeting also called on the two governments to refrain from intervening in each other's internal affairs.

When asked about discussion on trade, the advisor said brief discussion also took place on the issue including other confidence building measures.

It was also agreed in the meeting that the two Foreign Secretaries would meet soon on mutually convenient dates to discuss the way forward, the advisor remarked.

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