Indian High Commissioner calls on NSA Janjua to discuss situation in Kashmir

Islamabad: Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria called on National Security Adviser (NSA) Retired Lt General Nasser Khan Janjua on Tuesday to discuss the recently worsening situation in Indian-held Kashmir, read a statement issued by the office of NSA.

The NSA said Pakistan is pursuing a policy of friendly relations with its neighbouring countries including India, and that “normalcy of relations are always a top priority”.

“Pakistan is committed to resolving all outstanding issues through comprehensive dialogues,” Janjua was quoted as saying. Janjua expressed concern over the “ongoing human rights violations in India-held Kashmir”, saying that the “use of force alone can lead us nowhere”. “Rather, it diminishes hope, injures the society and further worsens the fragile situation,” the adviser said.

“Pakistan is deeply committed to the cause of Kashmir and supports to resolve this issue politically and according to the aspirations of Kashmiri people. The process of dialogue is the only way forward to resolve our disputes. It is by way of peaceful resolution of our disputes that can enable both the countries to belong to the future,” read the statement.

In response, the envoy acknowledged that Pakistan and India need to improve bilateral relations, and said, “Both countries have immense potential to improve the relationship, and cater to each other’s needs.”

Bisaria also suggested taking small steps to improve bilateral relations including the exchange of prisoners, visits of medical teams and trade initiatives.

“We can build on these small steps and take the relationship towards normalcy to address the bigger issues,” the Indian envoy was quoted as saying.

A security clampdown and a strike sponsored by separatists fighting against Indian rule shut most of India-held Kashmir on Monday, a day after deadly protests and fierce fighting killed 16 combatants — 3 Indian soldiers and 13 suspected militants — and four civilians.

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