Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani has said that Pakistan is a peace-loving country and desires peace in the region for the stability, well-being and alleviation of poverty of our peoples but regretfully India continues to sponsor state terrorism in Pakistan.

These views were expressed by Mr Rabbani during his meeting with President of the Maldives Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom at the Presidential Palace in Male, according to a handout issued by the Senate secretariat here on Monday.

The Senate chairman was accompanied by Senator Sardar Zulfiqar Khan Khosa and Senator Najmul Hassan, besides Pakistan’s ambassador in the Maldives.

Mr Rabbani informed the president that recently a serving Indian naval commander Kulbhushan Jadhav was arrested in Pakistan who had been involved in fostering unrest in the country. “Such steps being taken by India clearly show its expansionist designs in the region,” Mr Rabbani was quoted to have stated in the meeting.

The Senate chairman further said that Pakistan despite these provocative actions looked for a lasting peace in the region for which the Kashmir dispute needed to be resolved in line with the UN resolutions.

He also highlighted the gross violation of human rights and international laws by India in held Kashmir. He brought to the notice of the president the use of pellet bullets and the loss of eyesight of innocent children. He further stated that over 90 days had passed and the valley continued to be under curfew.

The chairman said Pakistan noted the Maldives decision of leaving the Commonwealth and respected it as it was a sovereign country’s decision. He said the Commonwealth was an important organisation and said that constructive engagements should continue.

The Senate chairman stressed improving bilateral relations between Pakistan and the Maldives and called for a reassessment of the role of Saarc, particularly keeping in view India’s attitude.