Pakistani PM holds India responsible for strained ties

India has failed to respond to Pakistan's desire for good relations, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said, in a rare rebuke of India

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that India unilaterally called off the foreign secretary level talks with Pakistan and did not try to resume the dialogue on Tuesday.

“Our desire for good neighbourly relations with India has not been reciprocated,” he told the Saudi Gazette in an interview during a recent visit.

Sharif made improving relations with India a priority when he came to power for a third time in the 2013 election.

The nuclear-armed neighbours' top diplomats met in Pakistan last month, after at least a dozen people were killed in a series of exchanges of fire along their disputed border, but there has been little sign of progress in ties.

The neighbours have fought three wars since 1947, two of them over the divided Muslim-majority region of Kashmir.

Nawaz Sharif said his acceptance of an invitation last May to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's inauguration was “an exceptional decision”.

However months later, India withdrew from talks after Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit met Kashmiri Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

The prime minister said that was a “frivolous pretext”.

“There is no sign of India desiring resumption of dialogue with us,” he said.

Terming Jammu and Kashmir occupation by Indian forces as the main hurdle, the premier said Pakistan was hopeful for constructive dialogue on all contentious issues between the two countries.

Meanwhile, Pakistan PM Sharif on Thursday called up Modi and expressed his condolences on the lives lost in India, after the earthquake in Nepal which also affected parts of India.

"Got a call from PM Nawaz Sharif. He expressed condolences on the loss of lives in various parts of India due to the earthquake," Modi said in a tweet, adding that Sharif appreciated India's efforts in the rescue operations in Nepal.


TRTWorld and agencies