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Sharif downplays LoC tensions,blames Indian politicians for ‘Pakistan-bashing’

Terrorism and ceasefire violations have become two major points of contention between the neighbours

Written by PTI | Islamabad |
October 31, 2013 8:26:29 pm

Amidst tensions sparked by ceasefire violations on the Line of Control,Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif claimed that Indian politicians are engaged in “unwarranted Pakistan bashing”.

Sharif,on a visit to London,said during a meeting with British Deputy Premier Nick Clegg: “We have made India-bashing a non-issue in Pakistan but unfortunately Indian politicians are still engaged in unwarranted Pakistan bashing.”

He said Pakistan is making sincere efforts to resolve all outstanding issues with India.

According to an official statement,Sharif also told Clegg that his government’s dialogue with the outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan “has started”. He said he “hoped and prayed the dialogue works within the constitutional framework of Pakistan”.

“The government cannot wait and see innocent people and law enforcement personnel being killed,” he said. “The government is enhancing the capacity of counter-terrorism forces and intelligence agencies to root out extremism and terrorism.”

The recently promulgated Protection of Pakistan Ordinance was specifically prepared to deal with terrorists waging war against the people and the state,Sharif said.

In Islamabad,Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan too told political leaders that talks with the Taliban had started.

He told parliamentary leaders of political parties that he would soon take them on board about the negotiations. The procedure,agenda and venue for the talks are being finalised,he added.

The government enjoys the support of all political parties for the initiative and it wants to take the peace process forward with sincerity,Khan said.

Speaking to media after the meeting,Pakistan People’s Party leader Khurshid Shah said the talks with the Taliban were delayed due to the killing of Maj Gen Sanaullah Khan Niazi in a roadside bomb attack and the suicide bombing of a church in Peshawar that killed over 80 people.

He said the government had told the political leaders there were 37 to 57 factions of the Taliban operating in the country.

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