NEW DELHI: After Pakistan PM
Imran Khan had ruled out dialogue
Qureshi was quoted as having said that Pakistan had never said no to dialogue with India. However, he added that “we cannot see the environment of dialogue being created by India”. Some of the conditions for dialogue Qureshi was said to have specified in his interview to BBC included India lifting restrictions in the Valley, releasing the imprisoned Kashmiri leaders and allowing him to meet them.
In his NYT opinion piece, Khan was quoted as having said that dialogue was possible only when India reversed “its illegal annexation of Kashmir, ends the curfew and lockdown, and withdraws its troops to the barracks”.
While Khan and other Pakistani leaders have threatened that the situation the Valley could lead to a war, if not a nuclear exchange, Qureshi also said Saturday war was not an option to deal with the issue of Kashmir.
Qureshi’s emphasis on dialogue came even as India again underscored its position that talks were possible only if, as the government has repeatedly said, Pakistan took verifiable and irreversible action against cross-border terrorism.
External affairs minister S Jaishankar had said on Friday that India was willing to discuss outstanding issues with Pakistan bilaterally in an atmosphere free of terror and violence. Jaishankar’s remarks came after his meeting with European Union commissioner Christos Stylianides in Brussels after the latter emphasised the need for India and Pakistan to restart dialogue.