Pakistan wants meaningful dialogue with India, says Foreign Office

*FO says Kashmir, Siachin, water and trade to be top agenda in talks *Tasnim says Balochistan and Dr Afridi Pakistan's internal matter

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan expects a meaningful dialogue with India after Narendra Modi takes oath as prime minister on May 28, Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said on Thursday.

During weekly briefing, she expressed the confidence of resumption of peace talks between the two countries after new government comes to power in India. “We expect when the new government takes over, a meaningful dialogue between Pakistan and India will resume,” she stated. She said India had invited Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to attend the Monday ceremony in New Delhi and the decision on it would be taken sometime today.

The FO spokesperson indicated that a representative may be nominated if Nawaz Sharif could not visit, saying this was a normal practice and won't breach protocol. She expressed the confidence of resumption of peace talks between the two countries after new government comes to power in India. She said Pakistan wants prosperity in the region and for economic progress peace is essential, all the disputes can be solved through negotiations, if the negotiations would start than Kashmir issue, water and Siachin issue will be discussed and increase in trade will also be discussed.

Tasnim said regarding the matter of not issuing visas to Indian journalists should be asked from the Ministry of Information because it deals with matters regarding journalists. Pakistani journalists are not invited in briefing but when their journalists were here Pakistan used to invite them in all sorts of events, she added. She also said issue of Balochistan was not between Pakistan and India, Balochistan was a part of Pakistan and it just have reservations of India’s activities in this province because India was supporting some banned organizations in Balochistan.

To a question, Tasnim said issue of Dr Shakeel Afridi was Pakistan's internal matter. Expressing solidarity with the kidnapped Nigerian girls she said Pakistan was suffering from terrorism therefore the nation condemn all sorts of terrorism and they were standing with Nigeria regarding terrorism incident which took place there. Regarding kidnapped Chinese tourist, she said that it was not the duty of FO to provide security to anyone, adding that the government was working for the release of China’s tourist.

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