Peace talks: Shahbaz asks India to follow suit

Peace talks: Shahbaz asks India to follow suit

Shahbaz Sharif. Reuters file photo.

India and Pakistan should resume comprehensive peace talks, taking a cue from the historic Singapore summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, PML-N chief Shehbaz Sharif has said.

In a rare statement on India, the brother of ousted Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the yesterday's summit between Trump and Kim should set a good precedent for both the bickering neighbours to follow.

"Ever since the start of Korean War, the two nations have been at odds with one another - both threatening to use military force with their nuclear arsenals facing each other.

"If the United States and North Korea can return from the brink of a nuclear flashpoint, there is no reason why Pakistan and India cannot do the same, beginning with a dialogue on Kashmir,"

Shahbaz said said in a series of tweets.

The leaders of the US and North Korea met in Singapore for a summit where Kim pledged to work towards the "complete denuclearisation" in return for security guarantees from Washington.

"It is time for comprehensive peace talks in our region. International community must focus on the peace process in Afghanistan. Dialogue between Pakistan and India over Kashmir should also resume so that the long-festering Kashmir dispute is resolved in accordance with the UN resolutions," Shahbaz said.

Many political pundits in Pakistan believe that Nawaz's efforts to normalise ties with India was one of the major reasons behind his ouster as premier.

Shahbaz, who is a prime ministerial candidate from the ruling PML-N, asked India to leave the past behind and start afresh.

"The US and North Korea talks should be a role model for Pakistan and Indian. If they can return from their previous hostile positions of attacking each other, Pakistan and India can also resume composite dialogue," he said.

Shahbaz said if his party returned to power in the July 25 elections, it will promote peace in the region with a focus on Afghanistan, noting that peace in the war-torn country is "inextricably intertwined" with peace and security in Pakistan.

He also welcomed the initiatives mooted by the Afghan government and the Taliban for a ceasefire during Eid-ul-Fitr.

Terming it a positive first step towards promoting an Afghan-led Afghan-owned peace process, Shahbaz said the PML-N government had played a pivotal role in initiating steps for peace in Afghanistan, including hosting the first-ever direct, face-to-face talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Murree in July 2015.