MUZAFFARABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday extended an invitation to India to come forward for peaceful resolution of Kashmir dispute through negotiations.
His statement comes as the nation is marking the Kashmir solidarity day with full zeal and fervour to express solidarity with the people of Indian-held Kashmir and pay tribute to the sacrifices of Kashmiri martyrs.
In his address to the joint sitting of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly and Kashmir Council in Muzaffarabad on Wednesday‚ the prime minister stressed that the region will remain in the grip of uncertainty and confrontation as long as Kashmir dispute is not resolved in accordance with the aspirations of Kashmiri people.
The prime minister expressed the confidence that the Indian leadership while realizing the sensitivity of the issue will reciprocate to his invitation of dialogue in a positive manner and give right to self-determination to the people of Kashmir.
Sharif said that good friendly relations could develop between both the neighbouring countries if India accepts‚ the right to self-determination of Kashmiri people.
The premier reiterated that Pakistan wants to resolve all outstanding issues with India‚ including the core issue of Kashmir‚ through meaningful and result oriented dialogue.
Nawaz Sharif further said that Kashmir dispute remains on the list of unfinished agenda of the United Nations and this issue has a central place for peace in the South Asia. He said that like other parts of the world‚ the Kashmiris also have the right to decide their future with their own free will.
Moreover, the prime minister said that Pakistan has taken several concrete steps including the opening of the Line of Control (LoC) to facilitate trade and movement of the people to reduce the hardships faced by the people living on both sides of the LoC.
Earlier‚ on arrival at Muzaffarabad‚ the prime minister was received by AJK President Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan‚ Prime Minister Chaudhary Abdul Majeed and the cabinet ministers.
A smartly turned out police contingent presented guard of honour to the prime minister.