‘Have learnt our lesson, want peace with India’: Pak PM Shehbaz Sharif
After three wars, Pakistan has learnt its lesson and wants to live in peace with India, its prime minister Shehbaz Sharif said in an interview with Dubai-based Al Arabiya TV on Tuesday. He also said he wants to solve “burning issues like Kashmir” with the Indian leadership.
“It is up to us to live peacefully and make progress or quarrel with each other, and waste time and resources. We have three wars with India and it only brought more misery, poverty and unemployment to the people. We have learnt our lesson and we want to live in peace provided we are able to resolve our genuine problems. We want to alleviate poverty, achieve prosperity, and provide education and health facilities and employment to our people and not waste our resources on bombs and ammunition, that is the message I want to give to PM Modi,” he said.
Pakistan, which is battling a severe economic crisis, public discontent against the ruling regime due to flour crisis and fuel shortage, among others, is also faced with rising instances of terror attacks by the proscribed outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which had ended a ceasefire with the country’s security forces late last year.
“India is our neighbour country, we are neighbours. Let’s be very blunt, even if we are not neighbours by choice we are there forever and it is up to us for us to live peacefully and progress or quarrel with each other and waste time and resources. That is up to us,” Sharif said in the interview with Al Arabiya.
Sharif also brought up the subject of Kashmir and said, “Pakistan wants peace, but what is happening in Kashmir should be stopped.”
“Pakistan does not want to waste resources on bombs and ammunition. We are nuclear powers, armed to the teeth, and if God forbids a war breaks out, who will live to tell what happened?” he said.
Sharif also highlighted the threats and fears of the effects of the “strained ties” between India and Pakistan, stating that both countries are nuclear powers and that if the conflict triggers a war, then there will be no one left to live and tell what happened.
Sharif has asked the UAE to play a similar role as it connected India and Pakistan in the past to re-enforce the Simla agreement and brought both sides to mutually agree on a ceasefire at the Line of Control (LoC) and the Working Boundary (WB).
The UAE played a vital role in arranging important high-level meetings between Pakistan’s and India’s top military leadership and brought both parties to agree on the ceasefire.
(With agency inputs)
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