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US urged to play role for peace dialogue between Pakistan and India

US Urged to Play Role for Peace Dialogue Between Pakistan and India

WASHINGTON – Pakistan urged the United States to play its part in persuading India to engage with Pakistan to bring peace and stability to the South Asian region.
“Pakistan is committed to a peaceful neighborhood, it is now up to India to create the right conditions,” the Pakistani envoy to US, Asad Majeed Khan, said.
“We urge the United States to play its part.”
Speaking to an online forum at a Washington think tank, Stimson Center, this weekend, Ambassador Khan also suggested that the new Biden administration consult with the Taliban on any delay in the Afghan withdrawal.
Appreciating the contribution of the Pakistani American community to strengthening the national economy, the Pakistani envoy said the community could also play a key role in improving US-Pakistan relations.
“We have made repeated gestures and overtures for peace,” Ambassador Khan said in responding to a question on rebuilding relations between India and Pakistan.
The Pakistani ambassador recalled that in February 2019 Indian troops were attacked in Pulwama in occupied Kashmir, which New Delhi had tried to blame on elements in Pakistan.
“We disputed the Indian account that there is a camp of 300 terrorists. We argued that this was done by a government that had gained political ground by hitting Pakistan,” he said.
“We said they were doing it because Prime Minister Narendra Modi wanted to go to the elections,” the Pakistani envoy said while explaining how India exploited the attack to merge the occupied territories.
The manipulation allowed Modi to win the election and despite concerns, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan made this opening of dialogue and peace, he said.
But the Indians “went and took the unilateral action of August 5, followed by a series of other actions,” he said.
“Now, in this context, I don’t know if Pakistan can form a relationship with India, let alone establish a trade relationship,” the Pakistani envoy said when a participant urged Islamabad to strengthen bilateral trade with New Delhi.
“In order to have normal trade and political relations with India, it is really important that India first reverses these unilateral actions and then resumes the dialogue with the intention of resolving not only Kashmir, but all other disputes,” Ambassador Khan said.
“And then we can work to solve our economic, business and investment challenges.”
He called on the Biden administration to take a new approach to dealing with “a new and transformed Pakistan”.
He said it was a Pakistan that “had launched a very successful and determined counterterrorism effort,” which was “clearly visible” not only in a remarkably improved internal security situation, but also in counterterrorism operations “at our border with Afghanistan.”
This change, he said, would be better appreciated by those who have lived and seen the situation in the past.
“So Biden’s current squad will certainly be in a better position to appreciate what has changed on the pitch compared to anyone else who has never seen this before,” he added.
“I say this because I participated in these conversations with the Obama administration where a number of senior officials in the new administration have also held very important positions,” the ambassador said.
An example of the changes that have taken place since the days of Obama, Mr Khan said, was the merger of FATA with KP.
“The way we cleaned up these tribal agencies, erected border fences, integrated FATA into mainstream Pakistan, attacked terrorists and banned entities. This is the first reality they will have to realize, recognize and appreciate,” the ambassador said.

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