Kashmir main source of tension: Pak PM in I-Day speech

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Islamabad, Aug 14: Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday termed Kashmir as the "main source of tension" in relations between India and Pakistan and sought a peaceful resolution to bolster bilateral ties.

Sharif said this while addressing on the occasion of his country's 68th Independence Day in Islamabad after midnight. The Pakistani prime minister's remarks came a couple of days after his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi accused the neighbour of waging a proxy war against India over the years. A leader of the Opposition Congress, Shashi Tharoor, also backed the BJP prime minister's words. Islamabad said Modi's words were "baseless" and "unfortunate".

The Indian establishment has also criticised Pakistan for repeated violations of ceasefire along the Line of Control in recent times.

Sharif, who is facing serious protest from leaders like Imran Khan and Dr Tahirul Qadri in his country at the moment, said maintaining peaceful relation with the neighbours is a "cardinal principle" of his government's foreign policy. Sharif became the prime minister for the third time in May last year.

Sharif said peace with neighbours is the foreign policy aim of his govt

Sharif, who attended the oath-taking ceremony of Narendra Modi in May, also called for durable peace in neighbouring Afghanistan. The war-ravaged country, which is in a period of transition, is being perceived as a major concern for regional peace once the western troops pull out completely.

Three services chiefs besides ministers, diplomats, senior officials and business officials were present at Sharif's Independence Day speech.

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