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Nothing to Brag About: Abdul Basit on Video Showing India’s Attack on Pak Base

Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit on Tuesday denied the Indian Army attack on its territory in Naushera sector and said he had not received any such report from Pakistani side.

Maha Siddiqui | CNN-News18

Updated:May 23, 2017, 5:24 PM IST

New Delhi: Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit on Tuesday denied the Indian Army attack on its territory in Naushera sector and said he had not received any such report from Pakistani side.

“This is nothing to brag about. It reinforces Pakistan’s contention that we need to resolve the issue peacefully,” Basit told CNN-News18 in an exclusive interview.

He said Pakistan is ready to talk with India. “Why can’t the two countries have a comprehensive dialogue? Terrorism is an issue with which Pakistan has strong concerns… Pakistan is not shying away from discussions… Kashmir is the root cause of all our problems.”

Basit said Kashmir issue can only be resolved through the Shimla Agreement and talks were important.

On the recent order of the International Court of Justice in favour of India in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, Basit said, “What did India get from ICJ? Final ruling is still expected... we are not embarrassed from the ICJ ruling… Pakistan is on solid ground.”

Claiming that Jadhav has “not been discriminated against”, he said consular access is decided “on merit” basis“There is no ruling by the ICJ on consular access… let’s see how things unfold.”

When asked about Jadhav’s health, he said, “I can assure you that Jadhav is alive and legal process is underway in Pakistan.”

Basit also denied the recent beheading of Indian soldiers by Pakistan army near the Line of Control. “Our army never gets involved in beheading. Ours is a professional army,” he said.

Asked if Pakistan army will at least conduct a probe in the beheading case, he said, “When nothing has happened, what do we need to probe?”

Trying to internationalize the Kashmir issue, he said “If we cannot settle this issue bilaterally, why not try the United Nations?”

On India’s allegations that Pakistan army is running a campaign to radicalize youths in Kashmir, he said, “Kashmiri youths are wedded to a cause, I do not know what to say to your question.”

He said it was for the two democratically elected leaders of India and Pakistan to decide when to hold a meeting and take the dialogue forward.

“Nawaz Sharif is elected Prime Minister of Pakistan and he is in the driving seat. Some reflection from Indian side is required what kind of relationship it wants,” said Basit.

On the question should India and Pakistan play cricket during Champions Trophy, he said, “There has been never been a dearth of interest on our part. We always wanted such bilateral activities… We want to address all the issues and we want to engage with India without any pre-condition.”

When asked about the Hafiz Saeed trial in Pakistan, he said, “Trials take several years. In this case, the trial has moved forward. We want Indian cooperation to move forward... we have put Hafiz Saeed under house arrest. It is in our own interest.” However, Basit admitted that Saeed “has not been accused in Mumbai attacks”.

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| Edited by: Mirza Arif Beg
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