Sharif reaches out,says army not involved in LoC incident

Bashir also said both countries should work towards creating conditions conducive for a meeting

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: August 15, 2013 12:54:24 am

As Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Wednesday conveyed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh his desire to turn a “fresh page” in bilateral relations,Pakistan High Commissioner Salman Bashir ruled out “involvement” of its Army in killing of five Indian soldiers on the LoC in Poonch district of J&K last week and said both countries have a responsibility to ensure ceasefire was respected.

Bashir also said both countries should work towards creating conditions conducive for a meeting between their Prime Ministers next month in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

“It is very difficult to say how this incident happened but we are very confident that there is no involvement of Pakistan Army in the incident. There is a need to see it with an open mind,” he told reporters after a function to mark Pakistan’s Independence Day at the mission.

Later in the day,Sharif,in a written message to Singh,said,“The people of Pakistan aspire to promote friendly,cooperative and good neighbourly relations between our two countries. I would like to reiterate that it is in our common interest to work closely to achieve our shared goals of peace and prosperity in the region. I look forward to our meeting in New York to discuss issues of mutual interest. It is our desire to turn a fresh page in our bilateral relations.” His message was to convey greetings on the occasion of the Independence Day.

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari,who also sent a message of greetings to President Pranab Mukherjee,said,“Pakistan remains committed to the improvement of relations with India. It is my sincere hope that we would be able to resolve all outstanding issues between our two countries peacefully,and address the common challenges of ensuring the well being and prosperity of our peoples.”

Asked if Sharif would meet his Indian counterpart next month,the Pakistan envoy said,“Our Prime Minister,very recently,again expressed his desire and has stated that he is looking forward to meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh next month in New York. We still have some time in between. Both sides should work towards creating conditions conducive for a meeting.”

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