Stating that optics are important to any India-Pakistan negotiation, senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, chairman, Senate Defence Committee, Pakistan, said Islamabad should have insisted on the inclusion of the Kashmir issue in the July 10 joint statement issued by the Prime Ministers of both countries at Ufa.
“Pakistan should have insisted on the K-word in the joint statement. Optics are important. How can there be a Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark?” Hussain told journalist-anchor Karan Thapar in his TV programme “To the point”.
“K-word is the key word. Was it a lapse? Yes, I would say so. The joint statement has a resonance at the popular level,” he said, blaming bad media management on part of Pakistan.
Echoing Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit’s statement that Kashmir is “the mother of all issues”, the senator said: “The Ufa statement is fine in the sense that the two PMs met… (but) Kashmir is the core issue and the representative view of the people, parliament and the state of Pakistan.”
“Pakistan will definitely put Kashmir on top of the agenda. India will be forced to discuss it,” said the former information and broadcasting minister.
On India’s demand that voice samples of Mumbai terror attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi be sent, Hussain said: “Nothing is being ruled out…But India has to give us additional proof which it has not shared.”
On Monday, Sartaj Aziz, adviser to the Pakistan PM on foreign affairs and national security, claimed that Nawaz Sharif had told PM Narendra Modi at Ufa that more information and evidence was required to conclude the 26/11 Mumbai attacks trial.