ISLAMABAD–India has failed to respond to Pakistan’s desire for good relations, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said, in a rare rebuke of India.
Nawaz Sharif said his acceptance of an invitation last May to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s inauguration was “an exceptional decision”.
But months later, India withdrew from talks after Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit met Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
The prime minister said that was a “frivolous pretext”.
“There is no sign of India desiring resumption of dialogue with us,” he said.
The prime minister said Pakistan was ready for “constructive dialogue for negotiated settlement of all issues, including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir”.
Pakistan and India have fought three wars since 1947, two over the disputed Muslim-majority region of Kashmir which both claim in full but rule in part.
India says Pakistan arms militants fighting in Indian Kashmir. Pakistan denies that saying it offers political support to Kashmiris facing rights abuses at the hands of India’s army.
India was angered this month when the Lahore High Court freed Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi on bail. Lakhvi was one of the accused in the 2008 terror attacks on Mumbai. India said the release “reinforced the perception that Pakistan has a dual policy on dealing with terrorists”.
Top diplomats from both countries met in Pakistan last month, after at least a dozen people were killed in a series of exchanges of fire along their disputed border, but there has been little sign of progress in ties.
Nawaz made improving relations with India a priority when he swept to power for a third time in the 2013 general elections, raising hopes that the democratic elections would strengthen the government.
A government insider said at the time Nawaz Sharif would stay in power but had to “share space” with the army on issues such as India-Pakistan relations and security.
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— The Daily Mail - People's Daily