No land trade route to India till resolution of Kashmir dispute: Pak minister

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Islamabad, July 30(ANI): Pakistan Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira has said that his country will not allow any land trade route to India until both countries resolve the Kashmir dispute.

Kaira asserted that outstanding conflicts like Siachen, Sir Creek and water issues needed resolution, but said that Kashmir was the core issue.

He also stated that it was not simply a matter for resolution bilaterally, but also keeping in mind the wishes of the Kashmiri people, The Nation reports.

The Afghan government had requested Pakistan to allow passage of Indian goods through Wagah border to the land-locked country.

The issue was raised during the seventh round of the Pak-Afghan Joint Working Group in Islamabad, jointly chaired by the finance ministers of the two countries.

The Pakistan government however denied the request, when Pakistan and Afghanistan signed the 'Afghan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement' to reach an understanding on all major issues related to transit trade.

Earlier, Kaira had also said that he was optimistic about the prospects of talks with India, despite a deadlock in the foreign ministerial level talks earlier this month.

"In my view, I think the talks are in the right direction. Things are moving on. At least we are at the table to discuss affairs. The dialogue process should continue. Pakistan is very flexible in its stance and we welcome and expect a change in the Indian stance as well," Kaira had said. (ANI)

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