Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif advocates for peaceful dialogue with India to resolve conflicts
Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif advocated for peaceful dialogue to resolve conflicts with other countries, including neighbouring India, in order to achieve the nations' and region's prosperity goals.
He stated that Pakistan desired peaceful relations with all of its neighbours, including India, at the sixth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Kazakhstan's capital, Astana.
"We are willing to engage with India for the sake of prosperity and development," he said, adding that "both sides of the border cannot afford to deal with massive issues of poverty and unemployment amid limited resources."
In response to Sharif's statement, India stated that it desired normal relations with all of its neighbours, including Pakistan, and advised Islamabad to create a conducive environment, including "credible, verifiable, and irreversible actions" to stop cross-border terrorism against it and allow the two countries to engage and address issues bilaterally, according to news agency PTI.
During the event, Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi described Pakistan as the "global epicentre of terrorism," saying that the neighbouring country, including India, is still a source of terrorist activity.
In his address, Pakistan's Prime Minister accused India of violating human rights in Kashmir, to which Lekhi responded that Pakistan has no legal merit to comment on India's internal affairs.
"Pakistan's remarks today amount to gross intervention in India's internal affairs, sovereignty, and territorial integrity," she stated.
The Kashmir issue and cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan have strained relations between India and Pakistan.
On August 5, 2019, India repealed Article 370 of the Constitution, revoking Jammu and Kashmir's special status and dividing the state into two Union Territories.
In response to India's decision, Pakistan severed diplomatic ties with New Delhi and expelled the Indian envoy. Pakistan-India trade relations have remained largely frozen since then.