Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday said that the only way for Pakistan and India to move forward was through dialogue, reported the Dawn.
While addressing a National Conference on Strategic Stability in South Asia in Islamabad, Qureshi said Pakistan needs a “willing and constructive partner to tackle the myriad daunting challenges” that the region is facing.
“A peaceful neighbourhood is the sine qua non [an essential condition] to build prosperous societies,” he added.
Qureshi began his address by noting that recent events were a reminder of the “heavy responsibility” that both Pakistan and India have to bear in working towards addressing the “underlying challenges” to strategic stability in the region.
Qureshi pointed out that the South Asian security environment was in a “state of flux”. He said that India’s “massive acquisition of conventional arms with offensive doctrines” as well as the expansion of strategic assets were developments which had “serious security implications for Pakistan”.
Qureshi said that the recent Anti-Satellite (ASAT) test highlighted Pakistan’s concerns on the “military spin-offs” of high technology trade with India.
He said that the country-specific exemption by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) also had negative implications for strategic stability of the region.
Earlier, Prime minister of Pakistan Imran Khan said that there may be a better chance of peace talks with India if PM Narendra Modi’s BJP comes to power again.
Khan said that the Congress party might be too scared to seek a settlement with Pakistan over Kashmir, fearing a backlash from the right wing if they come to power.
“Perhaps if the BJP – a right-wing party – wins, some kind of settlement in Kashmir could be reached,” Imran Khan told journalists in an interview.