US-India defence ties causing regional imbalance: Sataj Aziz

Islamabad: US defence cooperation with India was enhancing imbalance in South Asia, said Pakistan’s National Security and Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz on Thursday, adding that Islamabad’s reservations in this regard have been conveyed to the US, media reported.

Aziz said Pakistan also conveyed to the US that conventional and non-conventional imbalance in South Asia should be considered while entering into any sort of defence cooperation with India, reports Radio Pakistan.

“It is becoming clear that America is preparing India to reduce the influence of China in the region.”

“Pakistan’s cooperation with China is development-oriented and India has no business objecting to it. Pakistan is fully capable of safeguarding its interests and sovereignty.”

The advisor on foreign affairs made it clear that whenever dialogue with India resumes, the two countries will discuss all issues including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir.

“There can be talks on all issues but no issue would be discussed in isolation on India’s demand.”

Aziz said for the first time ever Pakistan has prepared a “formal dossier regarding Indian interference in Pakistan” which would be taken to the UN for presentation.

“India accuses non-state actors from Pakistan of meddling in Indian affairs. But Indian state actors are interfering in Pakistan.”

The advisor said Pakistan will highlight the Kashmir issue at the UN and other forums, adding that bilateralism envisaged in the Shimla Agreement failed to achieve any progress.

Similarly, he said, Pakistan conveyed to India it would not entertain Indian objections to meetings with Kashmiri leaders because “Kashmiris are genuine stakeholders in the dispute”.

Aziz said Pakistan would not ask India for any meeting during the prime minister’s visit to the UN.

“It was New Delhi which cancelled talks between national security advisors of the two countries. So it is on India to initiate the process.”

Responding to points raised by some members, Sataj Aziz said that during the recent meeting between the director generals of Pakistani Rangers and the Indian Border Security Force (BSF), the two sides agreed to discuss ceasefire violations on the Working Boundary.