Pakistan Pledges Restraint

Pakistan Pledges Restraint

14 August 2013
Greater Kashmir


Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Wednesday pledged to respond with 'restraint and responsibility' to the situation on the LoC, saying there is a need for more diplomacy to achieve peace. He also sought UN intervention in resolving the “long-pending Kashmir dispute.” 'Pakistan will continue to respond to the situation with restraint and responsibility in the hope that steps would be taken by India to help reduce tensions,' Sharif said at a joint news conference with UN chief Ban Ki-moon. Sharif said it was vital to defuse the recent escalation of tension in Kashmir, which has been the cause of two wars between the neighbours. 'We have to defuse tension and de-escalate the situation. Our objective is peace. For that, what we need is more diplomacy,' he said. Tensions between India and Pakistan have spiked due to clashes along the Line of Control since five Indian soldiers were killed on August 6. Pakistan today said a man was killed and his daughter injured in firing by Indian forces in Rawalakote sector. This was the second civilian death reported from the Pakistani side of the LoC. Following his talks with the visiting UN chief, Sharif said: 'The escalation of tensions along the LoC is a matter of concern for us and the Secretary-General.' Sharif said he would 'explore all avenues to ease tension with India, start dialogue, address outstanding issues including Jammu and Kashmir, and promote trade and commerce'. He reminded Ban that the Kashmir dispute is the 'longest outstanding issue on the UN agenda'. Pakistan seeks a 'just and peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN resolutions', he said. 'We hope that the UN will play its due role in resolving the Kashmir dispute,' Sharif said. Earlier, addressing the flag hoisting ceremony at the Convention Center here to mark the country's 67th Independence Day, Sharif vowed to defeat terrorist forces and turn Pakistan into a cradle of peace with the support and unity of the people and cooperation from the army and other vital security institutions. “The whole nation is united. We are in high spirits and would give an absolute defeat to the terrorists with the full cooperation of army and other national security institutions,” the prime minister said. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also attended the ceremony on the special invitation of the prime minister. The prime minister said the government was fully cognizant of the people’s concerns on the menace of terrorism and extremism, adding that the people also know that such challenges come in the history of nations and they fight these with unity and courage. Sharif said Pakistan was a nuclear-weapon state and an important regional power, and any decision about the region cannot be taken without the country’s involvement. Committed to improving ties with India: Zardari Meanwhile, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari Wednesday said it was his sincere hope that New Delhi and Islamabad will resolve all outstanding issues peacefully. The outgoing president, in a message of greetings to his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee on the occasion of India's Independence Day, said he hoped both countries would also be able to 'address the common challenges of ensuring the well-being and prosperity of our peoples'. He said Pakistan 'remains committed to the improvement of relations with India'. 'Pakistan remains committed to the improvement of relations with India. It is my sincere hope that we would be able to resolve all outstanding issues between our two countries peacefully, and address the common challenges of ensuring the well-being and prosperity of our peoples,' Zardari said. 'Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration,' he said in the message.