Pakistan on Monday invited India for talks on Kashmir, saying it is the ‘international obligation’ of both the countries to resolve the issue, notwithstanding India’s insistence that it would talk on “contemporary and relevant” issues in Indo-Pak relations.
Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said in a statement that Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale was called to hand over a letter of invitation for talks.
“The Foreign Secretary called in the Indian High Commissioner this afternoon (15 August 2016) and handed over a letter addressed to his Indian counterpart, inviting him to visit Pakistan for talks on Jammu and Kashmir dispute that has been the main bone of contention between India and Pakistan,” Zakaria said.
The invitation was extended amid tension in bilateral ties due to the war of words between the two nations over the issue. “The letter highlights the international obligation of both the countries, India and Pakistan, to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions,” the statement said.
Pakistan’s advisor on foreign affairs said last week that a conference of envoys of Pakistan earlier this month had agreed that Pakistan seek talks with India. The invite came days after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh addressed Parliament on the Kashmir issue and said that India was willing to discuss only Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) with Pakistan, and that the question of discussing Jammu and Kashmir with Islamabad just does not arise.
India also virtually turned down Pakistan’s proposal that it would invite India for a dialogue on J&K and made it clear that it would talk on “contemporary and relevant” issues in Indo-Pak relations.