Kashmir Issue To Be Tackled Via Track-II Mechanism: Pakistan

11 July 2015

Islamabad: Pakistan has said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi have agreed in their meeting in Russia to address the issues of Kashmir, Siachen and Sir Creek through Track II diplomacy. The Pak PM's Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz yesterday said both leaders were of the opinion that for lasting peace the way forward was to address the outstanding issues like Kashmir, Siachen and Sir Creek. 'The two sides also agreed to take up these issues under the back-channel Track-II mechanism for better understanding of each other's point of view,' Aziz was quoted as saying. Aziz's remarks came after Sharif faced flak for not mentioning Kashmir in the joint statement issued after the meeting with Modi in Ufa, Russia. The adviser said that the meeting between the two leaders was held in 'very good atmosphere' as both sides believed that peace in the region was vital for progress. He said the two sides believe in combating poverty, instead of fighting each other. Aziz said that the first priority was to lessen tensions on the Line of Control and the two sides agreed to activate the mechanism of meetings between the Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers. Meanwhile, Pakistan Finance Minister Ishaq Dar warned India of a 'befitting response' in case of any aggression. Dar was responding to a motion in the Senate that sought the government's attention towards the 'destruction of infrastructure along the border due to heavy mortar shelling by Indian troops'. Dar was quoted as saying New Delhi should not cast an evil eye on Pakistan's economic prosperity. 'Pakistan's next-door neighbour India could not digest Pak-China Economic Corridor project deal,' Dar said. We would give a befitting response to any Indian aggression (both on economic and war fronts),' he told lawmakers. 'We have not closed our eyes. We don't have a soft corner for India. We are not beggars,' he reportedly said.