Durable peace impossible in subcontinent without resolving Kashmir dispute: Maleeha
NEW YORK (92 News) – Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi has said that durable peace in the subcontinent is impossible without resolving the Kashmir dispute.
In an interview with a private TV channel, she said that Pak-India tension is not in the wider interests of the region in the current situation.
“Ongoing troubles with India in Kashmir threaten Pakistan's attention and considerable influence in a potential peace agreement aimed at ending an 18-year conflict involving US and Taliban forces in Afghanistan. In other words, our full focus is going to be on the eastern frontier rather than the western front and that could affect the peace process. Our attention is going to be where we feel there is a military threat to us,” she said. “And Pakistan believes that threat is from the Indian border.”
Maleeha Lodhi said: “Both (Afghanistan) and (Kashmir) issues are important in their own right. But it is the eastern border, India, which has already attacked Pakistan. They sent planes into our territory. That’s a hot border,” she said. “Afghanistan is a different situation. We would like that war to end. But we don’t perceive a threat from our western border. It’s our eastern border that we perceive a threat.”
Pakistan on Friday fulfilled its pledge to hand over the Indian pilot who was downed amid the escalating military tensions between the two countries last week. Pakistan viewed the release as a ‘gesture of peace,’ which they claim has not been reciprocated. Shelling and cross-border violence continued over the weekend, leaving at least eight dead.
“We are in the midst of a very tense situation, a very fraught situation,” Lodhi continued. "The Indian leadership is failing to respond to the Prime Minister's repeated gestures for peace, which included the gesture of freeing and releasing the Indian pilot who was flying his plane to attack Pakistan."
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