FM Bilawal Bhutto in India says ‘peace is our destiny’

GOA: Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Friday said that the people of Pakistan and India want peace, stressing that New Delhi has to create a “conducive environment” for talks between the neighbouring nations.

His comments came while speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in the Indian state of Goa.

The visit by Bilawal to India is the first by a Pakistani foreign minister to Delhi in over a decade and has garnered a lot of media attention in both countries. The two have fought three wars, share frosty relations, and have downgraded their diplomatic ties.

The onus is on India to create a conducive environment for talks, said the foreign minister, adding that India’s decision to end the special status of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir in 2019 undermined the environment for holding talks between the neighbours.

Bilawal said, however, that despite his rare visit to India, there was no change in the status of diplomatic relations. “India took illegal steps in August 2019 and violated the UN resolutions by its actions,” said the FM.

The foreign minister retreated that Pakistan has a clear and solid stance on the Kashmir issue, highlighting that India’s “one-sided actions” have affected the terms between both countries.

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