'Dialogues best option for India and Pakistan'

Islamabad, PTI | Updated : 15 April 2016, 08:29 AM

Dialogue is the best option between Pakistan and India and the two sides should not think in terms "foreclosing any options", a top Pakistani official said.

"During Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi's visit to Pakistan in December last, it was decided that the two Foreign Secretaries should meet soon. It is hoped that both sides would work out modalities for the Foreign Secretary-level talks," Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said when asked if the word "suspended" correctly defines the current state of the bilateral peace process.

"We need to look ahead and not think in terms foreclosing any options. Both sides are in contact with each other. Once the modalities are worked out Secretary-level talks would take place," he said.

"Dialogue is the best option! Diplomacy is for interaction and engagement between countries," he said.

Zakaria's comments came days after Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit said the bilateral peace process stands "suspended".

When asked if the position in Islamabad is similar to Pakistan's High Commissioner to New Delhi, he said, "There is a difference between comments on day to day ground situation as compared to broader policy and future vision and prospects. At our level here in the Ministry, we do not give a day to day running commentary on official policy."

He said Pakistan was committed to resolving all outstanding issues with India through a sustainable,
uninterrupted and meaningful dialogue without any preconditions, in order to address each other's concerns, and establish lasting peace.

On a question regarding the death Indian prisoner Kirpal Singh in a Pakistani jail, Zakaria said he died due to heart attack and preparation were underway to send his body to India.

He said Singh was convicted by an anti-terrorism court for spying.

"It is not appropriate to see everything through the prism of suspicion and conspiracy. He was kept in intensive care at the hospital but he could not survive," he said.

 "We have communicated this information to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. We are in contact with the Ministry of Interior and the India High Commission with regard to transportation of dead body to India," he said.

India had raised the issue of Singh's mysterious death with Pakistan authorities and sought a probe into the matter.

On Pathankot investigation, Zakaria said that the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) after visiting India was "evaluating the information shared by the Indian side" which is part of the ongoing investigation into the Pathankot attack.

First Published: Friday, April 15, 2016 08:27 AM
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