Want normal ties with India based on mutual respect: Sharif

  • Rezaul H Laskar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi:
  • Updated: Jan 28, 2015 13:29 IST

Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday described India as an “important neighbour” and said Pakistan wanted good relations with all countries of the region.

“India is an important neighbour for us and we would like to have normal relations with the country on the basis of mutual respect and sovereign equality,” Sharif was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his office.

He made the remarks during a meeting in Islamabad with Pakistan's high commissioner to India, Abdul Basit, who briefed him on the status of India- Pakistan relations.

Sharif added it was “important that two countries (India and Pakistan) resolve all their outstanding issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, in order to have viable peace in the region”.

His remarks came hours after his advisor on national security and foreign affairs, Sartaj Aziz, criticised the US for “selectivity and discrimination” favouring India.

In a statement issued soon after US president Barack Obama left Delhi after a three-day visit, Aziz referred to agreements reached between the US and India and said operationalisation of the Indo-US nuclear deal would have “a detrimental impact on deterrence stability in South Asia”.

Aziz also opposed Obama’s backing of India’s candidature for a permanent seat in a reformed and expanded UN Security Council.

Though Sharif attended Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in last year, bilateral ties plunged to an all-time low following violations of the truce along the Line of Control by Pakistani troops.

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