From Sajjad Hussain Islamabad, Feb 12: Pakistan Prime Minister's security advisor Sartaj Aziz has said since Nawaz Sharif's meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has taken several negative steps, including the cancellation of foreign secretary-level talks, and the dichotomy in its policy was responsible for tensions between the two countries.
"Indian leadership's threats of disproportionate use of force portend India's dangerous desire to create a space for war.
This hostile attitude also reveals a clear dichotomy in India's insistence on eliminating terrorism on the one hand and creating distractions for our armed forces engaged in relentless and non-discriminatory counter-terrorism operations," the Prime Minister's Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs said.
Aziz made the remarks in a seminar 'Crossroads Asia: Dynamics of Peace and Progress' at the army's National Defence University here yesterday.
He said since Premier Sharif's meeting with Prime Minister Modi last May, India took several negative steps, including the cancellation of foreign secretary-level talks. Building a peaceful neighbourhood is the cornerstone of the foreign policy of the Nawaz Sharif-led government which wants to focus on the agenda of economic development, Aziz said.
He said Pakistan was committed to resume dialogue with India that should be sustained, unconditional and result- oriented. He also reiterated his country's support for the "Kashmir cause".
"Pakistan shall not abandon its political, diplomatic and moral support to Kashmir cause at any cost," he said. Aziz criticised hiking of India's defence spending which he said was accentuating the conventional asymmetry and seriously impacting regional stability.
He said Pakistan would not get involved in arms race in the region but would staunchly protect its interests through credible deterrence capability. Pakistan also needs improvement in ties with all neighbours including Afghanistan, Iran and India to achieve the goal of a peaceful region, Aziz said.
"The vision of a peaceful neighbourhood cannot be realised without a qualitative transformation in our relations with Afghanistan, India and Iran," he said.
Aziz also talked about Indo-US ties and said Pakistan appreciated US interest in South Asia as it could play a constructive role for strategic stability and balance in the region. India called off foreign secretary-level talks after the Pakistan High Commissioner in New Delhi held consultations with the Kashmiri separatists on the eve of the Indo-Pak talks.