Pak PM Shehbaz Sharif says ‘want talks with India’, but remains silent on terrorism

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Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Thursday that he is ready to engage with India provided the other side shows sincerity and purpose.

On the sidelines of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) Summit in Astana, Kazakhstan, Sharif said that the engagement between the two countries is important for the peace and prosperity of the region but remained silent on the issue of terrorism in the recent past.

“We are willing to engage with India for the sake of peace, prosperity, and progress of the region. We cannot afford to have more poverty and unemployment on both sides of the border. Absolutely willing to have serious dialogue and discussions with our counterpart provided they show the sincerity of purpose,” Sharif said when asked about possible talks with India.

Sharif further said that the talks will be possible if both countries can keep aside issues that have caused rifts in the past and added that he is “committed to move forward”.

“If we don’t act speedily, then history will not forgive us. We can talk if they show that they are ready to discuss issues which have kept us at a distance over decades. This has to come to a stop and I am absolutely committed and ready to move forward.”

Also read | Massive overhaul in Pakistan’s top military brass

Pakistan was recently devastated by floods which claimed the lives of over 1000 people and Sharif made it clear that the top priority of the nation is to rebuild and provide a better future for children.

“We need to really provide education, health, medicine, and jobs to our children. Cannot afford to deploy or commit meagre resources to create tensions. Enough is enough.”

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