Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s foreign policy advisor Sartaj Aziz claimed that India was insisting that the Kashmir issue should be set aside to normalise bilateral ties but Pakistan could never make such a compromise.
“Since (PM Narendra) Modi came to power, they have made this the first condition for improving ties. They have said normalisation will happen if we forget the Kashmir issue but we can never forget it,” Aziz said.
“Besides the condition on Kashmir, hegemony has many implications and it is difficult for Pakistan to accept,” he said in an interview with Dawn News channel.
The previous Congress-led government in India had the “same agenda” but was “more subtle”, he said. Modi was “very open” about his agenda and wanted normalisation of ties on India’s terms, he added. Aziz further claimed India was using the soil of Afghanistan for activities against Pakistan but did not offer any evidence to back up his allegation.
Though Modi invited Sharif to his swearing-in last year, ties soon plummeted to a new low after Pakistan repeatedly violated the ceasefire along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.
Meanwhile, India on Monday vehemently rejected Pakistan’s charges. “We all know, who is upstreaming terrorism and who endeavours to downstream terrorism. It is certainly not India. We all also know that the main threat to peace and security in Afghanistan comes from terrorism. Therefore, don’t be mislead by those who intend to obscure the challenge that safe havens pose to peace and security in the region,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said.