Time to resolve Kashmir issue has come, says Aziz
"Our efforts to normalise relations with India have achieved partial results," the Pak PM told a conference of envoys.Updated: Jun 27, 2006 17:12 IST
Noting that partial results have been achieved in the peace process to normalise relations with India, Pakistan has said the time has come to move towards dispute resolution to settle Kashmir and other contentious issues.
"Our efforts to normalise relations with India have achieved partial results and the time has now come for dispute resolution, especially the core dispute of Kashmir," Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz told a conference of Pakistani Envoys being held in Islamabad since Monday to discuss the overall direction of Pakistan's foreign policy.
In an address to envoys from 28 countries including India, he said Pakistan had consistently maintained a principled position in favour of a just and equitable solution of the Palestine and Kashmir issues on the basis of self-determination.
Pakistan also managed to maintain and improve relations with all major world powers. "We are a major non-NATO ally of the United States as well as a strategic partner of China," he was quoted as saying by 'Daily Times' in Islamabad on Tuesday.
Aziz said Pakistan's relations with the European Union, Russia and Japan had steadily grown in substance.
The discussions on India included, Kashmir and the peace process, officials said.
The conference is expected to discuss Pakistan's strategy to deal with India's decision to field diplomat Shashi Tharoor as New Delhi's nominee to contest the post of UN Secretary General.
Pakistan is reportedly toying with the idea of fielding its own candidate for the top UN post.
The speculation on possible nominees centered around Aziz, its UN Permanent Envoy Munir Akram and journalist-turned-diplomat Maleeha Lodhi who is currently Pakistan's envoy to London.