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Pakistan welcomes US president-elect Trump’s offer to mediate on Kashmir issue

world Updated: Nov 11, 2016 14:59 IST

Pakistan's foreign ministry spokesperson Nafees Zakaria briefs media at the Foreign Office in Islamabad.(AP File Photo)

Pakistan said it has welcomed an earlier offer of mediation by US president-elect Donald Trump to reduce Indo-Pak tensions as it expressed the desire to work closely with the new administration.

Foreign office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria was responding to questions at the weekly news briefing here about Trump’s victory in the US presidential election.

“The US president-elect had offered mediation between Pakistan and India on Kashmir dispute during his campaign and we had welcomed that offer,” he said, though reports did quote Trump specifically mentioning Kashmir.

The 70-year-old real estate tycoon had last month described tensions between India and Pakistan as a “very, very hot tinderbox” and offered to be “the mediator or arbitrator” if it was necessary and if the two countries so desired.

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Radio Pakistan also quoted Zakaria as saying that the people of Kashmir had given sacrifices for their right to self-determination and that Pakistan was concerned about the continued atrocities by Indian forces there.

He said Pakistan will continue to raise Indian brutalities and human rights violations at international fora besides extending moral, political and diplomatic support to the cause of Kashmiris.

The spokesperson said Pakistan was looking forward to work closely with the new US administration for the mutual benefit of both the countries.

Pakistan will continue the endeavour to promote and strengthen the existing relationship, he added.

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“Pakistan has multidimensional and strategic relationships with the US including economic, defence, science and technology, education, strategic issues, counter-terrorism and wants to strengthen them further,” he said.

To a question regarding violation of the Indus Waters Treaty by India, Zakaria said Pakistan has approached the World Bank for establishing a court of arbitration.

Pakistan is looking forward to the establishment of the court at the earliest in line with the Indus Waters Treaty, he said.

Zakaria added that India has not fulfilled its promise of investigating the Samjhauta Express incident. He said perpetrators of the incident had made public confession in which eight serving army officers were involved. He also said India did not share any information with Pakistan despite the latter repeatedly raising this issue bilaterally and on various forums.

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