Pakistan PM urges ‘new beginning’ with IndiaAgence France-Presse . Islamabad
The Pakistani prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, called for a ‘new beginning’ in relations with India in comments published Tuesday, as tensions remained high over the disputed region of Kashmir.
Recent clashes across the heavily militarised Line of Control, which divides the Himalayan territory between India and Pakistan, have raised the temperature between the nuclear-armed neighbours.
Sharif, in remarks published by the Associated Press of Pakistan, said it was vital India and Pakistan became ‘good friends’.
‘Let us make a new beginning. Let us sit together to resolve all outstanding issues in a friendly manner and in a peaceful atmosphere,’ he said in comments made Monday to the state news agency.
India’s army on Tuesday accused Pakistan of firing across the LoC late on Monday in the latest confrontation.
Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence in 1947, two over Kashmir. A deadly flare-up along the LoC in January derailed peace talks that had only just resumed after a hiatus sparked by the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
‘We must become good friends. Hold each other’s hands. We must sit together with open and clean heart,’ Sharif said, adding that Pakistan had ‘a lot of love and affection’ for the Indian people.
Sharif has stressed his desire for better relations with India since his election in May. But tensions have flared in the Kashmir valley since the ambush killing last week of five Indian soldiers, which India blamed on the Pakistani army.
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