ISLAMABAD: Pakistani national security advisor Dr. Moeed Yusuf said in an interview published on Thursday that the idea of peace with India “remains,” adding that Pakistan would take two steps towards peace if India took one.
Yusuf was speaking to a Turkish news agency.
“The idea of peace [with India] remains,” he said. “I tell you today on record for the world to know that the Pakistani prime minister's number-one goal in the region is peace with everybody.”
"Pakistan will take two steps if India takes one... we are ready even today," the national security chief added.
He said he had been a proponent of India-Pakistan peace throughout his career as a researcher but now the world was dealing with an India that behaved like a “rogue state.”
“Not just Pakistan, there's been a conflict with China,” Yusuf said. “Nepal has gotten up and passed parliamentary resolutions with a new map and taken on India. Bangladesh has raised its voice. Its relations are not good with Sri Lanka.”
Pakistan and India have long fought over the Himalayan region of Kashmir, which is claimed by both in its entirety but ruled in part. India accuses Pakistan of arming and training Kashmiri insurgents in India’s portion of the Himalayan region. Pakistan says it only provides moral and diplomatic support and denies it supports militants.
Relations have been particularly tense since August 2019 when India stripped the region of its special autonomy and moved to bring it under direct rule, imposing curfews and sending in troops. A communications shutdown was also imposed on August 5, 2019. Access to slow, 2G Internet for mobile and fixed-line subscribers was restored in March 2020, but high-speed 4G access remained blocked until this year.
“Kashmir is under occupation, an open jail. Humans are not being treated like humans; that reality has to change for things to move forward,” Yusuf said.
“Our prime minister said when he came into office, if India takes one step, we will take two towards peace. The problem is India has taken one thousand steps in the opposite direction," the national security chief said. "So, we're hoping for that enabling environment to be created by our neighbor. The Indian government needs to do the right thing to resolve the Kashmir issue and find a way forward to connect the region.”