Peace talks with India to go ahead: Pakistan

Islamabad, April 15 (IANS) The Pakistani fore­ign office has rejected a notion that the peace process between Islamabad and India was suspended, saying it remained engaged with New Delhi.

“We need to look ahead and not think in terms of foreclosing any options. Both sides are in contact with each other,” foreign office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said on Thursday during a weekly media briefing.

The spokesman was referring to media reports quoting Pakistan’s High Commis­sioner in India Abdul Basit as having said that the peace process was “suspended”, Dawn online reported on Friday.

“Dialogue is the best option. Diplomacy is for interaction and engagement between countries,” Zakaria said.

Last December, the two countries had agreed to restart the peace dialogue, which was named Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue.

It was agreed during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise stopover in Lahore on Christmas Day that the foreign secretaries would meet to decide the schedule and other details of the first round of talks.

However, the plan for re-engagement after a hiatus of two years was affected by the Pathankot attack in January and the two countries have not been able to schedule the foreign secretaries’ meeting since. Zakaria said the meeting would take place once the “modalities” have been settled.

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