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Pakistan will not accept Indian hegemony: Aziz

22 October, 2014

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ISLAMABAD: Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has urged greater national unity to effectively tackle challenges being faced by the country, including the situation on the Line of Control and relations with India.

"The whole nation will have to be united and tell India that we will never accept Indian supremacy or hegemony; will never forget the rights of Kashmiris; and will protect our vital interests," Sartaj Aziz said in a PTV programme "Nuqta-e-Nazr". India will have to be told that Pakistan in terms of military or defence has the capability to protect its vital interests and there should not be any doubt in this respect, he said.

On foreign affairs Aziz said parliament would also debate this issue in a couple of days, and guide the government and the Foreign Ministry on how to tackle the current crisis in the light of country's vital national interests.

He said it would also send a strong signal to India as well as the whole world. To a question, Sartaj Aziz said he saw ties with India at their low. However, he added that Pakistan would do its best to keep the relations normalized with no increase in tension, as the two countries could not afford it.

In response to another query, Sartaj Aziz recalled the visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for the inauguration of Indian Prime Minister Narindra Modi and said Nawaz Sharif's objective was to revive the dialogue process and normalise the relations.

He, however, added that the Indian prime minister wanted to normalise ties with Pakistan on India's terms, which was based on the view that the issue of Kashmir should not be given importance and be put aside as a non-issue. That is why, Sartaj Aziz said, the Indian side cancelled the foreign secretary-level meeting on flimsy grounds.

The advisor on foreign affairs said forgetting Kashmir on the pretext that it was not an issue was not acceptable for Pakistan. "If Kashmir is not an issue, why have you deployed 700,000 troops in occupied Kashmir? Why are the troops from the two sides sitting eye-ball to eye-ball on LoC (Line of Control), and why are the Kashmiris still agitating for their rights?" he asked.

Sartaj Aziz said this issue could not be wished away. "If meaningful talks are held, we can find a solution which is acceptable to the Kashmiris." He said it was not just an issue between India and Pakistan but it was a matter of self-determination by the Kashmiris.


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