In its first national security policy, Pakistan seeks peace, economic diplomacy with India

In its first national security policy, Pakistan will express interest in making peace with India and other immediate neighbours, leaving doors open for trade and commerce even without a resolution to the Kashmir issue, provided bilateral talks progress.

The Pakistan government said Islamabad is more or less certain that New Delhi will “not make a U-turn on Kashmir” even though the former is bearing the brunt of the bilateral trade standoff.

The national security policy is designed with economic diplomacy as a central theme of Pakistan’s foreign policy, with the aim of normalizing trade relations with India and other neighbours.

The five-year policy document, covering the period between 2022-26, is being prepared by the Government of Pakistan as the country’s first-of-its-kind strategy paper that outlines the national security vision and guidelines for achieving those goals. Is.

The original 100-page policy, which will be kept secret, leaves the door open for trade and trade ties with India without a final solution to the long-standing Kashmir dispute, provided that talks between the two nuclear-armed neighbours. be progress. An official was quoted as saying in the report of the Express Tribune newspaper.

“We are not seeking enmity with India for the next 100 years. The new policy seeks peace with immediate neighbours,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

Relations between India and Pakistan had strained after the 2016 terror attack on the Pathankot Air Force Base by terror groups based in the neighbouring country. Subsequent attacks, including an attack on an Indian Army camp in Uri, further soured the relationship.

India’s warplanes deepened a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp inside Pakistan on February 26, 2019, in response to the Pulwama terror attack that killed 40 CRPF personnel. Relations suffered another setback in August 2019 after India announced the withdrawal of special powers to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcation of the state into two union territories.

Reacting to the developments, Indian government sources said New Delhi is “open to better relations with Pakistan” provided the country stops supporting terrorist groups against India. The sources also said that India will not forge any relations with Pakistan “at the cost of Kashmir”.

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