Follow up (AIN) -Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has called for a fresh round of negotiations with neighboring India on a wide range of issues, notably the disputed region of Kashmir.
“Pakistan and India should live like good neighbors as they cannot be changed... They should resolve their problems accordingly,” Sharif told reporters in the capital, Islamabad, on Tuesday before heading to New York to address the forthcoming 70th annual session of the United Nations General Assembly.
The Pakistani prime minister said Islamabad will continue playing its due role for peace and stability in the region with responsibility.
He pointed to the issue of Kashmir as the main bone of contention between Pakistan and India, saying that the matter should also be raised at other platforms besides bilateral talks between the two neighbors.
“[The] sooner the issue is resolved, the better it will be for both Pakistan and India,” Sharif said.
Last month, Pakistan scrapped scheduled security talks with India, saying the condition by New Delhi that Kashmir be kept off the agenda was a hurdle.
Pakistan and India have been engaged in hostility over Kashmir ever since their independence from British rule and their partition in 1947. Both neighbors claim the region in full but have partial control over it. Pakistan controls one-third of Kashmir, with the remaining two-thirds under India’s control.
The neighbors agreed on a ceasefire in 2003, and launched a peace process the following year. Since then, there have been sporadic clashes, with both sides accusing the other of violating the ceasefire.
Thousands of people have been killed in the unrest in Kashmir over the past two decades.
The two countries have fought two wars over Kashmir since their independence. /End/