Kashmir not an obstacle in India-Pakistan ties: Nawaz Sharif

New Delhi: Kashmir was not an “obstacle” in India-Pakistan ties but a very important issue which needs to be resolved “peacefully” to the satisfaction of both countries and the Kashmiri people, Pakistan’s former prime minister Nawaz Sharif said today.

“It’s a very important issue. This issue needs to be resolved peacefully. Resolved to the satisfaction of not only both the countries but also to the satisfaction of the people of Kashmir,” Sharif said in an interview to Karan Thapar on CNN-IBN.

“We don’t take it as an obstacle. Pakistan is going ahead on trade front and other ties we have. India should also pay attention to Kashmir issue, get this problem away and solve it to the satisfaction of all the three parties,” he said.

Asked if ties could progress by putting the Kashmir issue on the back burner, he said: “That we are already doing. Let not such issues be put on back-burner for an indefinite period. Both the countries feel the urge to solve this very important problem.”

Sharif stressed Pakistan doesn’t want its territory to be used for terrorist activities. “We don’t want our territory to be used for terrorist activities. These elements are deliberately spoiling the relationship. I think both countries should take these steps.”

The former Pakistan prime minister said many terrorist organizations have already been banned.

“If I become prime minister I will make sure that Pakistani soil is never used for any such design against India. We must not allow such speeches to be made against India by anybody including Hafeez Saab (Saeed).”

On ISI involvement in 26/11, he said: “If you look at my interviews immediately after Mumbai killings, I was very clear in saying that let there be the joint commission of investigation.

“Let both the countries sit together, exchange the evidence what they have. Let the investigation be conducted jointly and pursue the matter jointly. I think no progress was made towards this suggestion. I will certainly take up this matter.”

The Mumbai attack, which drew widespread global condemnation, began on Wednesday, Nov 26 and lasted until Saturday, Nov 29, 2008, leaving dead over 160 people and over 300 injured.

On the Kargil issue, which took place place when he was prime minister, Sharif said the entire Pakistan Army was kept in the dark.

“No corps commander had any knowledge that this Kargil operation is going on. Even the chiefs of the armed forces complained about why they were not informed. I think the commission will have to bring out the full truth. This will be an open secret.”


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