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Dialogue Best Way to Defeat Extremism, India-Pakistan Need Engagement: Aizaz Chaudhry

Moscow: India and Pakistan need to engage in dialogue which is the best way to defeat extremism and to improve strained ties, Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry has said.

Pakistan believes that dialogue with India is the best way to defeat extremism which is damaging bilateral relations between the countries, Chaudhry said here yesterday.

“Relations between Pakistan and India have not been very good and the reason is that Pakistan and India are not having any dialogue, there is also misperception about each other.

This is not something that our leadership wants…” he was quoted by Russian news agency Sputnik as telling a press conference.

“We also believe that it is for the our two countries to sit at the table and share each other perspectives, no matter how difficult the issues are, including extremism that damages the bilateral relations,” he said.

His remarks come amid severe chill in Indo-Pak ties after Pakistan-based terrorists attacked an Indian army base in Uri in September.

The recent exchange of fire on the Line of Control (LoC) may lead to “strategic miscalculations,” making the role of the UN Monitoring Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) crucial to regional peace and stability, he said.

India, however, does not recognise the UNMOGIP and has maintained that the group has outlived its utility and is irrelevant after the Simla Agreement and the consequent establishment of the LoC. India has always stated that it has “no role to play whatsoever”.

Chaudhry also said Pakistan, which currently holds the observer status at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and would become a fully-fledged member next year, does not view it as a platform to discuss its bilateral issues with India.

He also expressed hope that India would abide by its obligations under the Indus Water Treaty, saying New Delhi will start a “dangerous precedent” if it violates the landmark water-sharing accord it signed with Pakistan in 1960.

“Contravention of the treaty or its unilateral abrogation by India will not only violate Indus Water Treaty but also set a precedent providing other countries a possible justification to undertake similar actions,” he told Sputnik, amid reports India reviewed the treaty following the Uri attack.