Pakistan uses K word second time in a week


Islamabad/New Delhi : In the midst of heightened subcontinental tensions over the release of 26/11 Mumbai terror mastermind Hafiz Saeed, Pakistan Thursday for the second time raked up the Kashmir issue, saying peace in the region was predicated on its resolution.

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“A fair and just resolution of the long-standing dispute is absolutely essential for lasting peace in the region,” Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit said at his weekly media briefing here.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had spoken much in similar vein Tuesday on the day the Lahore High Court cited lack of evidence to release from house arrest terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed.

India has presented Pakistan with evidence linking the LeT to the Nov 26-29, 2008 Mumbai carnage that claimed the lives of over 170 people, including 26 foreigners.

Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone gunman captured alive during the carnage has owned up his Pakistani nationality and admitted the LeT had trained him for the attacks.

India had frozen the subcontinental composite dialogue process in the wake of 26/11 and has said on many an occasion that the talks could resume only if Pakistan showed tangible results in prosecuting the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks.

Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna reiterated this Thursday.

“There is no change in our position. Unless Pakistan acts credibly against terror directed against India, there can be no talks,” Krishna told reporters in New Delhi.

The response came when he was asked to comment on Pakistan saying it would welcome the unconditional resumption of the dialogue process.

At his briefing, Basit said the Indian preconditions for resuming the talks were “untenable”.

Responding to a question, there was “realization” in Washington that the Kashmir dispute needs to be resolved, adding that Pakistan was working with the US to see how best this objective be attained.

Holding that it was through dialogue that the two countries understand each other and could get down to resolving the issues facing the region, the spokesman hoped the two countries would quickly move toward resuming their dialogue.

Meanwhile, Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Sharad Sabharwal Thursday met Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir. This follows the meeting in New Delhi Wednesday between Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon and Pakistan’s envoy to India Shahid Malik.