Formalise 2003 India-Pakistan Ceasefire Agreement: Abdul Basit

Formalise 2003

Accusing India of violating ceasefire at least 400 times, Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit on Friday said it is better to formalise the 2003 Indo-Pak agreement to end firing at the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir region.

“According to our estimation, from this side (India), at least 400 times violations have taken place (at LoC in Jammu and Kashmir region). As many as 40 people have been martyred in Pakistan,” Basit said at a meet-the-press programme here.

“Instead of accusing each other, it is better to formalise the 2003 (ceasefire) agreement. This proposal was kept before India, and (we) expect that at some point of time India accepts that proposal, so that this problem ends,” he said at the meet organised by the Press Club of Bengaluru.

Maintaining that Pakistan wants stability and no firing at the Line of Control, he said Islamabad hopes India accepts ‘good’ proposals presented by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

“We want there should be stability at the Line of Control and there should not be any firing. The proposals that our PM has presented are good and we hope that India will consider it,” he said.

Refuting allegations that Pakistan is abetting terrorism, Basit said his country is the victim of this menace and incurred huge economic losses, besides lost human lives and security personnel.

“Pakistan is suffering and terrorism is a big issue for us. Since 9/11, Pakistan has lost 60,000 innocent lives including 5,000 of our security personnel. According to World Bank reports we have incurred USD 120 billion losses so far,” he said.

“There can’t be any other country in the world, I can bet on that, which would be more interested to eradicate terrorism because Pakistan is the victim of terrorism. It serves no purpose for us to really get into that,” he said.

To a query on former Pakistan President General Parvez Musharraf’s remarks that Islamabad had trained and supported LeT to fight in Kashmir, Basit said rather than stepping into the past, it would be apt to look ahead.

“All militant outfits have been proscribed in Pakistan, and have been banned. Pakistan is committed not to allow terrorism to spread its wings anywhere in the world, so we are committed to that. Rather than to step into the past, let us look forward. That is my message to you,” he said.

In an interview to Dunya News, Musharraf had admitted that Pakistan supported and trained terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba in 1990s to carry out militancy in Kashmir.

“In 1990s, the freedom struggle began in Kashmir…At that time, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and 11 or 12 other organisations were formed. We supported them and trained them as they were fighting in Kashmir at the cost of their lives,” Musharraf had said.

On reports about persecution of Hindus and demolition of Hindu temples in Pakistan, Basit said there is no organised action against Hindus in his country, except that there may be some individual cases, which are found anywhere in the world.

“Constitutionally, all minorities are protected. There is no problem. As a Muslim majority country, we do respect all our minorities… there are many prominent Hindus who have risen to top levels in Pakistan… There is no collective organised way against Hindus in Pakistan. There may be some individual cases here and there and such cases you find everywhere in the world and Pakistan is no exception,” he said.

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