'Pakistan, India Should Formalise 2003 Accord To End LoC Violations'

31 October 2015
The Daily Times

Bangalore: It is better to formalise the 2003 Pakistan-India agreement to end firing at the Line of Control in Jammu Kashmir region, Pakistan's High Commissioner in India Abdul Basit said on Saturday. 'According to our estimation - from this side (India) - violations have taken place at least 400 times (at LoC in Jammu Kashmir region). As many as 40 people have been killed in Pakistan,' Basit said at a meet-the-press programme in Bengaluru. 'Instead of accusing each other, it is better to formalise the 2003 ceasefire agreement. This proposal was kept before India, and (we) expect that at some point in time India accepts that proposal, so that this problem ends,' he said at the meet organised by the Press Club of Bengaluru. Maintaining that Pakistan wanted 'stability not firing' at the Line of Control, he said Islamabad hoped India accepts peace proposals presented by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. 'We want stability at the Line of Control and there should be no firing. The proposals that our prime minister has presented are good and we hope that India will consider them,' he said. Refuting the allegations that Pakistan was abetting terrorism, Basit said his country was the victim of this menace. 'Pakistan is suffering and terrorism is a big issue for us. Since 9-11, Pakistan has lost 60,000 innocent lives - including 5,000 of our security personnel. According to World Bank reports, we have incurred losses amounting to $120 billion so far,' he said. 'There can't be any other country in the world - I can bet on that - which would be more interested to eradicate terrorism because Pakistan is the victim of terrorism. It serves no purpose for us to really get into that,' he added.