प्रतिक्रिया | Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Saudi Arabia echoes India’s stance on Kashmir in joint statement with Pakistan

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said dialogue was needed to resolve heightened friction between Pakistan and India during a meeting in Riyadh with visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Sharif was making his first overseas visit since winning power in elections in February. He met with Crown Prince bin Salman on Sunday.

“The two sides stressed the importance of dialogue between Pakistan and India to resolve the outstanding issues between the two countries, especially the Jammu and Kashmir dispute to ensure peace and stability in the region,” a joint statement released by Pakistan’s foreign office and the Saudi government said.

India has repeatedly told Pakistan that Jammu and Kashmir “was, is and will always” remain an integral part of the country. The Ministry of External Affairs has said India wants to have normal relations with all neighbouring nations, including Pakistan in an environment “free of terror, hostility and hostility.”

Earlier in 2019, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi urged the United States to use its influence to persuade India to come to the table for a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue. He made the remarks after then-US President Donald Trump offered to mediate between Pakistan and India on the Kashmir dispute.

However, Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar had conveyed to the then US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that any discussion on Kashmir would be done only with Pakistan and be conducted bilaterally.

The fragile relations between India and Pakistan have worsened after a 2019 suicide bombing of an Indian military convoy in Kashmir was traced to Pakistan-based militants, leading New Delhi to carry out an airstrike on a militant base in Pakistan.

India has longstanding friendly relations with Arab countries including Saudi Arabia, which have strengthened under Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is widely expected to win a third term in office.

Sharif and bin Salman also discussed expediting a planned $5 billion investment package, which cash-strapped Pakistan desperately needs to shore up its current account deficit and signal to the International Monetary Fund that it can continue to meet requirements for foreign financing that has been a key demand in previous bailout packages.

(Inputs from agencies)

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आखरी अपडेट: 29th May 2024