Pakistan’s foreign policy chief Sartaj Aziz has said that Pakistani missions abroad, including in India, are making efforts to reach out to the Indian people who are opposed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “extremism”, the media reported on Wednesday.
Aziz, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Foreign Policy Advisor, on Tuesday conveyed this to the country’s Senate, Dawn quoted him as saying.
“Our missions abroad, including in New Delhi, are making outreach efforts to emphasise the extremist Indian policies,” Aziz said.
Aziz also said Pakistan was doing its utmost to engage the international community, including its regional partners, to counter India’s efforts to isolate Pakistan in the region.
At the same time, Aziz stressed the need for a “positive response” from India in order to move forward. He said that while Pakistan always conveyed a desire to resolve all outstanding issues through dialogue, India had chosen to attach “conditions” to the talks, Dawn reported.
He said Pakistan was supportive of all initiatives for peace and stability in the region and this was evident from its decision to participate in the Heart of Asia ministerial conference in Amritsar, despite the Saarc summit in Islamabad being cancelled because of India.
Pakistan’s nuclear doctrine, he said, was clearly spelt out and due restraint was being exercised. “Pakistan continues to exhibit maturity and statesmanship despite provocative statements by Indian leadership and the continued ceasefire violations across the LoC and working boundary having resulted in civilian casualties,” he was quoted as saying. He also said that Pakistan’s armed forces “only returned fire when fired upon”.
Aziz also conveyed that a high-level committee has been formulated to “counter India’s propaganda campaign” on Kashmir.
The committee, to be headed by Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry, consists of senior officials from Pakistan Defence, Interior and Information, ministries, the Military Operations Directorate, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Intelligence Bureau (IB).
The Ministry of Information Technology had also been asked to prepare a comprehensive strategy to highlight the Jammu and Kashmir dispute via social media.
He also said the role of international lobbyists had become crucial in order to project the country’s position and pursue foreign policy objectives and that Pakistani missions abroad were in close contact with the Pakistani and Kashmiri diaspora.