Pakistan regrets Indian designs to scuttle diplomatic efforts for dialogue, using water as weapon

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Pakistan's society undergone dynamic transformation in past three years: Jilani

WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 (APP): Pakistan has deeply regreted Indian designs to scuttle all diplomatic efforts for bilateral and international dialogue and its stated intent to use water as a weapon against Pakistani people in flagrant violation of international treaty obligations.

Delivering a key-note address at the World Affairs Council, a Washington-based think-tank Thursday night, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Jalil Abbas Jilani also called on the US and the international community to help resolve the Kashmir dispute and did not allow New Delhi to distract world from the atrocities, it was committing on the innocent Kashmiri people.

The Ambassador regretted that India was scuttling all diplomatic efforts for a dialogue, including its refusal to engage constructively at the SAARC forum.

“The peace and stability in South Asia will not be possible without resolving underlying disputes, particularly the Jammu and Kashmir being the core dispute; measures for nuclear and missile restraint; and balance with regard to conventional arms,” Ambassador Jilani said.

“Pakistan’s proposal for a strategic restraint regime, based on these three inter-locking elements, remains on the table,” he said, drawing the attention towards Pakistan’s efforts for peace in the region.

Pakistan, he added, has positioned itself as a mainstream partner in the international non-proliferation regime as well as the global efforts to strengthen nuclear security and
safety.

On the issue of Kashmir, the Ambassador Jilani said that that Kashmir as a nuclear flashpoint must not be underestimated.

“The international community and the US in particular need to play a role in seeking a peaceful settlement of Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan, in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.”

He said the recent indigenous uprising in Kashmir bears testimony to the aspiration of Kashmiri people in seeking what the international community had promised but not
delivered.

He emphasized that India must not be allowed to deflect international attention from human rights violations and atrocities in Indian Occupied Kashmir, under the pretext of
political expediency.

The Ambassador said that recently, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s special envoys visited Washington to share Pakistan’s perspective, on the grave human rights situation in the Indian Occupied Kashmir, with the US side.

On Pakistan-US relations, the Ambassador shared perspective on trends and prospects in the longstanding relationship and its continuing significance to the foreign
policy of Pakistan.

He said Pakistan enjoys a long-standing strategic partnership with the United States and, though the history of our relationship has seen its ups and downs, it has certainly
survived multiple tests of times.

The Ambassador said that the leadership of our two countries shared the conviction that a robust, long-term bilateral relationship remains critical to regional and international security and prosperity.

Referring to the existing strategic partnership and have a broad range of convergences, the ambassador said that “we continuously endeavor to build on convergences and wherever there is divergence we try to minimize and remove such divergence. Most importantly, it is the common fight against the menace of terrorism that forms the centerpiece of Pak- US cooperation”.

Highlighting Pakistan’s role as a frontline state in the global war against terrorism, the Ambassador saidt that tens of thousands of Pakistani citizens and thousands of security
personnel had been killed or injured in terrorist attacks.
Pakistan had also suffered a loss of over $ 100 billion, he said, adding that Pakistan’s commitment to fight terrorism was second to none.

On the situation in Afghanistan, Ambassador Jilani said that peace and stability in the war torn country remained a common objective of Pakistan and the United States.

After 15 years of the current war in Afghanistan, Pakistan was convinced beyond a shade of doubt that that the only road to a lasting peace in that country was through a
dialogue between the Government in Kabul and the Afghan Taliban, he added.

“Pakistan has long proposed this as the most viable course to end decades of conflict and suffering in Afghanistan,” he said, adding that based on this belief in a negotiated peace, and in response to requests from President Ashraf Ghani, Pakistan had been facilitating the process of reconciliation in Afghanistan.

“We believe that peace in Afghanistan can be secured and assured only when the Afghan parties themselves conclude that there is no military solution to the Afghan war.”

The Ambassador made it clear that host of issues with peace in Afghanistan could not simply be attributed to Pakistan and that it was the collective responsibility of the international community, including the US, in this prolonged conflict.

“The problems are deep seated and not of Pakistan’s making. Apportioning blame in a simplistic fashion would not be helpful towards seeking durable solution to the increasingly complex situation in Afghanistan,” he said, adding that all stakeholders must all draw the right lessons from mistakes jointly committed in the past.

On the internal front, the Ambassador stated that the roots of democracy are slowly but steadily strengthening in Pakistan.

“The government of Prime Minister Muhammed Nawaz Sharif is into its fourth year and all political forces in the country remain committed to further consolidation of democracy.”