Pakistan says Kashmiris are stakeholders in Indo-Pak talks

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FO spokesperson says Pakistan committed to unconditional and result-oriented talks with India on all issues

The Foreign Office (FO) on Tuesday said in a statement that Pakistan firmly believes that the final resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir issue should be in accordance with the will of the Kashmiri people.

The FO said that this would be determined through a free and impartial plebiscite under the UN’s authority, as expressed in relevant Security Council resolutions.

The statement comes as a response to a question referring to the Indian spokesperson’s remarks regarding consultations with the Kashmiri leaders.

“Kashmiris are important stakeholders as they are the ones required to exercise their right to self-determination,” FO spokesperson Tasneem Aslam said in the statement. She added that Pakistan remains committed to a sustained, unconditional and result-oriented dialogue with India, to discuss all outstanding issues, including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir.

She reiterated that Pakistan has all along maintained that dialogue between Pakistan and India is important for peace, economic development and welfare of the people of South Asia.

A spokesperson for the Indian Ministry of External Affairs on Monday said there is no place for a third party in the dialogue process with Pakistan.

“Let me reiterate there are only two parties and there is no place for a third party in resolution of India-Pakistan issues. The only way forward to proceed on all outstanding issues is a peaceful bilateral dialogue within the framework of Simla Agreement and Lahore Declaration,” the spokesperson had said.

This statement is seen as a response to Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit’s remarks on Monday, when he underplayed his meeting with Hurriyat leaders in New Delhi, according to Times of India.