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Mutual trust is the key to bilateral talks with India: Sartaj Aziz

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Islamabad: Prime Minister’s adviser on National security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said that the foundation of India and Pakistan bilateral relations depends on mutual trust and cooperation.

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“This would entail a fresh and constructive approach towards resolving all our outstanding issues, including the Kashmir dispute,” said Mr. Aziz during addressing an OIC contact group on Kashmir in Jeddah.

“It is important to remind ourselves that despite decades of suffering and suppression by India, the people of Jammu and Kashmir have not given up their hope or struggle. The draconian laws put in place by the Indian government have not been able to extinguish the flame of self-determination in the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” said Aziz.

With regard to the recently-held elections in Indian-occupied Kashmir, Aziz claimed that India has reasserted its past notion of the willingness of Kashmiri people in the political process, to the international community.

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“However, the fact that the voter turnout was a mere 15 percent in the valley is conveniently sidelined by the Indian media. An overwhelming majority of the Kashmir is in fact, rejected these elections and Pakistan maintains that elections are no substitute for a free and impartial plebiscite held under the UN auspices,” Aziz said.

He appealed the international community to come forward to reinstate its promise to the people of Kashmir.

“Pakistan is committed to finding a just and peaceful resolution to the issue of Jammu and Kashmir on the basis of the UN Security Council resolutions and in accordance with the wishes and aspirations of the Kashmiri people. We will continue to extend political, diplomatic and moral support to the people of Kashmir,” Aziz said.

“Pakistan, therefore, stands ready to discuss all issues between our tow counties, in a spirit of cooperation and sincerity, including the issues of Jammu and Kashmir,” Aziz concluded.

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