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Peace process with India ‘suspended’, says Pakistan envoy Abdul Basit

1Delhi: In a statement which could have far-reaching implications, Pakistan envoy Abdul Basit said on Thursday that peace process with India has been ‘suspended’.
“I think at present, the peace process between India and Pakistan is suspended”, Basit said, adding, “As far as I know there is no meeting scheduled between two foreign secretaries (India-Pak) yet.”
“Let’s see if we are able to commence the dialogue process (Indo-Pak),” Pakistan High Commissioner added.
At the same time he has also denied possibility of NIA team’s visit to Pakistan.
“Not about reciprocity but co-operation of our two countries. Personally feel that this whole investigation isn’t about reciprocity, but about extending co-op to get to the bottom on this,” Basit said when asked if NIA team will be allowed to visit Pakistan.
“There shouldn’t be any doubt that Pak wants to have a normal and peaceful relationship with India. However, there is no shortcut to achieving a lasting peace. Nor does cherry-picking work. What we need is to engage uninterruptedly, comprehensively, and meaningfully,” he said, adding, “We all are aware of those who seek to create unrest in Pakistan and destabilize it. They are bound to fail as the people of Pakistan are united to effectively counter anti-Pakistan subversive activities on basis of sovereign equality and mutual interest. There is national consensus on this in Pakistan.”
“We all are aware of those who seek to create unrest in Pakistan and destabilize the country, The recent arrest of Kulbhushan Yadav in Pakistan irrefutably corroborates what Pakistan has been saying all along. They’re bound to fail as the people of Pakistan are united to effectively counter anti-Pakistan subversive activities​,” the Pakistani envoy alleged.
“In the last one month, our authorities have arrested scores of terror operatives with foreign linkages. The presence of such elements is quite disturbing to say the least,” Basit added.
On Yadav, he said, “Indian request is under consideration, but can’t say when they would be given consular access.”
“It is the Jammu and Kashmir dispute that is the root cause of mutual distrust and other bilateral issues. Therefore, it’s fair and just resolution, as per the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, is imperative. Attempts to put it on the back burner will be counterproductive,” Basit maintained.
“Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif strongly believes in enhancing regional cooperation and connectivity. However, a strong regional cooperative structure cannot be built on unpredictable bilateral relations. We need to move on all fronts simultaneously if we are to benefit from the opportunities unleashed by globalization,” he pointed out.
“19th SAARC Summit will be held in Islamabad in November this year. We sincerely hope the Summit, building on the past achievements, would help create more synergies and win-win situations,” he said.
Talking about Pakistan, he said, “Let me conclude by saying that Pakistan straddles South Asia, Central Asia and West Asia. Our country is therefore destined to become a regional economic hub. And the world will see this happening sooner than later.”
Basit was speaking at the Foreign Correspondents club in the national capital.
Reacting on the development, Congress’ Manish Tewari said to a TV channel, “It is major diplomatic incident and embarrassment for government of India.”

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