Cosmetic, Pakistan says of Indian troop withdrawals from Kashmir


Islamabad : Pakistan Thursday described India’s announcement of troop withdrawals from Jammu and Kashmir as an attempt to divert the attention of the international community from the basic problem of the Kashmir dispute.

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Foreign Office Spokesperson Abdul Basit expressed the views during a chat with Online news agency and state-run PTV.

Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony said Dec 18 that 30,000 soldiers have been withdrawn from Jammu and Kashmir over the last one year, adding that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) would not be repealed as it was still needed keeping in view the security situation.

Basit contended that the solution of the Kashmir issue was imperative for restoring peace in South Asia, adding all other sub-continental issues were of lesser significance.

Unless the Kashmir issue was resolved according to the aspirations of the Kashmiri people, the unrest between the Pakistan and India would continue.

Speaking about the investigations into the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks that India has blamed on elements operating from this country, Basit said Pakistan cooperating with India but New Delhi had not shown a positive and flexible attitude.

“We want the perpetrators behind the attacks to be brought to justice,” the spokesman added.

The trial has begun here of six Laskhar-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives for their role in the Nov 26-29, 2008 carnage that claimed the lives of 166 people, including 26 foreigners, and injured many more.

Pakistan has named LeT commander Zakiur Rehman as the mastermind of the mayhem. India says LeT founder Hafiz Saeed masterminded the attacks. Rehman, who was placed under house arrest a month after the Mumbai attacks, was freed in June, with the Lahore High Court citing insufficient evidence against him.

The Pakistani Supreme Court has indefinitely postponed the hearing on an appeal against Saeed’s release.

Speaking about the India-US civilian nuclear agreement, Basit said that through such pacts, New Delhi would further the arms race, which was not a good omen for the security of the region.