Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif wishes to discuss Kashmir issue if India is willing

New Delhi, Oct 15: Amid the ongoing tension between India and Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif on Saturday agreed to talk on the Kashmir issue if India is willing to discuss the issue. Earlier this month, talking about the Kashmir, Sharif said that India will be “mistaken” if it equates the “freedom struggle” of Kashmiri people with terrorism. Sharif was quoted saying, “India is mistaken if it considers that a freedom fight can be equated with terrorism.” Sharif said Kashmiris were fighting for their right of self-determination and Pakistan would continue to support them. After the Uri attack, India conducted surgical strike across the Line of Control (LoC) and killed terrorists waiting to infiltrate through the border.

Sharif also said that Indian army’s atrocities resulted in the loss of human lives and blinded hundreds. He also expressed desire for peaceful ties with India. “We want peaceful relations with all of our neighbours, said Sharif. Sharif said that India has resorted to double standards on the issue of Kashmir. He also said, “India unfairly blamed Pakistan for Uri attack without investigating the incident.” Sharif said that Pakistan would continue to extend moral, diplomatic and political support to the Kashmir cause.

Sharif’s comments came after India conducted surgical strike across the LoC, which Pakistan denied calling it mere cross-border firing. Talking about Kashmir’s issue, Sharif said, “Pakistan is committed to the Kashmir cause. No power in the world can stop us from supporting the freedom struggle of Kashmiris.” Following the strike Sharif had chaired a cabinet meeting, and addressed a joint session of the Parliament and attended National Security Committee’s meeting to discuss current tensions with India.

Sharif had also praised Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani saying that he was the pride of Kashmir. Wani was killed in an encounter with the Indian army forces on July 7, following which Kashmir saw huge protests. While protesters pelted stones on the armed forces, they retaliated with pellet guns, injuring many. Major parts of Kashmir were under curfew with schools, colleges and shops being closed. Around 92 people were killed in the protests and hundreds injured. (ALSO READ: Nawaz Sharif consults opposition after surgical strike by India)
Following the surgical strike, Sharif chaired a special meeting of all parliamentary leaders for a united stand although they denied the attack. When the US and the UK asked Sharif to condemn the Uri attack in Jammu and Kashmir, he refused and countered the leaders with over their silence over the Kashmir unrest since July 9 that claimed more than 90 lives.