In an apparent response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement that India and Pakistan should battle to eradicate poverty, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told a joint session of his country’s parliament that “if they want us to fight them to end poverty, then they should realise that poverty cannot be ended by driving tanks on farmlands”, the Dawn website reported Wednesday.
“We have done everything to make India come to the dialogue table, but India did not let it happen. Our efforts were thwarted over and over again. I would like to repeat our stance that we are against war. We want peace in the region. We want to resolve all outstanding disputes through dialogue,” Sharif was quoted as telling lawmakers.
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On India’s allegation of Pakistan’s involvement in the Uri attack, he said: “Without any investigation, within a few hours, India blamed Pakistan for the attack. Through this, one can see what India’s motives are.”
Referring to India’s announcement of surgical strikes against terror launch pads along the Line of Control, Sharif said “India’s ceasefire violation resulted in the death of our two soldiers. It was befittingly responded and was conveyed that Pakistan Army is fully capable to respond to any aggression.”
The joint session, called to discuss “Indian aggression” on the Line of Control (LoC) and foreign policy matters after India pledged to “isolate Pakistan”, was also told by the Pakistan Prime Minister that “world powers need to ensure that UN resolutions on Kashmir should be implemented in letter and spirit”.
Opposition leader Khursheed Shah of PPP was quoted by Dawn as saying: “Why is our foreign policy so weak, why are we lonely? We have to realise our mistakes and choose a better path for the future. Our policies have led to this stage, where Bangladesh is also against us.”
On the boycott of the SAARC summit in Islamabad, Shah said: “They (India) have tried to isolate us diplomatically. The SAARC conference is before you. Five countries refused to attend it. We should have pre-empted such developments.”