New Pak PM Shehbaz Sharif puts Kashmir as condition to have good ties with India

Updated on Apr 11, 2022 10:45 PM IST
  • Shehbaz Sharif, 70, urged his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to come forward and address the Kashmir issue so that both countries can focus on other matters such as poverty and unemployment, among others.
Newly elected Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. (Photo by Aamir QURESHI/AFP) (File Photo)
Newly elected Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. (Photo by Aamir QURESHI/AFP) (File Photo)
Written by Sharangee Dutta | Edited by Aryan Prakash, New Delhi

Soon after being elected as the new Prime Minister of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif said he wants to have good relations with India, but added that it cannot be attained without the resolution of Kashmir issue. In his inaugural speech, he raised the abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir, and claimed the people of the Valley were bleeding and that Pakistan will offer them with “diplomatic and moral support” besides bringing up the matter at each global forum.

"We want good ties with India but durable peace is not possible until the Kashmir dispute is resolved," Shehbaz was quoted as saying by PTI.

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The 70-year-old leader, who was voted as the head of the country after former PM Imran Khan was ousted following a much dramatic no-trust vote late night on Saturday, said that neighbours are not a matter of choice, and it is something they have to live with. He added that unfortunately Pakistan's ties with India were never good since its inception.

Further, Shehbaz slammed Khan for not making “serious and diplomatic efforts” when India abrogated the Article 370 in August 2019.

“When the forceful encroachment was done in August 2019 and Article 370 was abrogated, what serious efforts did we make...what serious diplomacy did we try…,” he said, adding Kashmiris' blood is “flowing on roads of Kashmir and the Valley is red with their blood”.

Shehbaz is the younger brother of three-time former Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif.

The new Pakistan PM urged his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to come forward and address the Kashmir issue in order to allow both the nations tackle other matters of unemployment, shortage of medicines, and poverty, among others.

“Why do we want our coming generations to suffer. Come, let's resolve the Kashmir issue in line with UN resolutions and Kashmiris' expectations, so that we are able to end poverty on both sides of the border,” Shehbaz was quoted as saying by PTI.

The relation between India and Pakistan further began deteriorating after the terror attack on the Pathankkot Air Force base in 2016, and subsequent attacks, including one on an Indian Army camp in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

After 40 CRPF personnel lost their lives in the terror attack in Pulwama on February 14, 2019, India retaliated by carrying out airstrikes in Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

The ties between the neighbours further degraded after India revoked the special status of J&K following which Pakistan expelled the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad, cut all air and land links with India, and suspended trade and railway services.

India has time and again said that Kashmir is an internal matter, and added it desires normal, friendly relations with Pakistan in an environment free of terror, violence and hostility.

Meanwhile, PM Modi took to Twitter on Monday to congratulate Shehbaz for becoming the new head of Pakistan. Calling for “peace and stability in a region free of terror”, Modi said that India desires to focus on the development challenges of the two country and “ensure well-being and prosperity” of their people.

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