ISLAMABAD - Dispelling the impression that the issue of Kashmir was put on backburner during Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif meeting with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in Ufa, top foreign affairs official has said no talks with India would be held unless Kashmir is not on the agenda.

Briefing newsmen about what exactly was discussed between the two prime ministers in Ufa, Adviser to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz stated that Pakistan has not abandoned its plan to internationalise the alleged Indian interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs.

Mr Aziz said the meeting between the two premiers took place with facilitation of ‘friends’ however it was not the formal start of any dialogue process. “But it served an important purpose to achieve an understanding that both neighbours must reduce tensions and hostility in order to constructively engage in a structured dialogue on all issues of bilateral and regional interest, including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir.”

He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif raised the issues of Indian involvement in insurgency in Balochistan and the Samjhauta Express bombing, adding Pakistan was not satisfied with the pace of Samjhauta trial. On Mumbai trial case, the prime minister conveyed that we need more evidence and information to conclude the trial, he said, adding that “reference to ‘additional information’ is recognition of the need that more information is needed to expedite the trial.”

“Issues cannot not be resolved while making it part of the joint statement of an initial contact, rather these could be addressed through constructive dialogue... Kashmir issue would be part of our dialogue process and no talks will be held unless the issue of Kashmir is not part of the agenda”, Aziz stated in categorical terms.

The adviser stated that the joint statement clearly recognised that “India and Pakistan have a collective responsibility to ensure peace and promote development. To do so, they are prepared to discuss all outstanding issues”.

“Which are those outstanding issues? Kashmir of course tops the list of outstanding issues, but there are also other important matters like Siachen, Sir Creek, (Indian) interference (in Balochistan) and river water”, he said.

Mr Aziz said that meeting was aimed at engaging constructively in a structured dialogue on all issues of bilateral and regional interest, including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir. “We would continue to extend political, moral, and diplomatic support to our Kashmiri brethren,” he said.

“There was a frank discussion on each other’s concerns. Pakistan has been deeply concerned, not only over the hostile statements from Indian ministers but also about Indian interference in Pakistan, including continuing support for insurgency in Balochistan”, he said. India on the other hand has been repeating its traditional accusations of cross border terrorism while overlooking the decisive counterterrorism campaign launched by Pakistan in the past two years, he added.

“To address these acrimonious concerns, the two sides agreed that the National Security Advisers of the two countries would meet, first in New Delhi and then in Islamabad,” a statement issued later by Foreign Office stated.

The adviser of Premier Sharif added that the July 10 meeting provided an opportunity to identify some areas where the two countries could promote cooperation right away to reduce tensions and hostility. He said peace and tranquillity on the LoC and Working Boundary is in the interest of both countries. Even though at present ceasefire is by and large being maintained, there have been occasions when this ceasefire was violated causing casualties and injuries to people inhabiting those areas, he said.

“Both leaders agreed that the existing mechanism of regular meetings between director generals of Rangers, BSF as well as DGMOs should be held to ensure full compliance with the 2003 Ceasefire Understanding.

The two sides have also agreed to revive Track II dialogue to explore ways of resolving issues that are lingering for a long time and need to be resolved to give peace a chance. Modalities for this track will be worked out through diplomatic channels.

Furthermore, he said that issues of bilateral trade also came up and all these issues will now be followed up through different channels. “The two prime ministers agreed that cooperation in promoting religious tourism will help ameliorate the difficulties faced by our Zaireen. Early release of fishermen is a humanitarian gesture”, he added.

He asserted that our supreme national interests, underpinned by a robust defence capability and socio-economic welfare of the people of Pakistan, guide the foreign and security policy agenda of the present government.

About Pakistan becoming the full member of Shanghai Cooperation Organization, he said that ‘10th July 2015’ was a very important day in the diplomatic history of Pakistan. He said that SCO took a unanimous formal decision to admit Pakistan and India into the organisation. About PM Sharif meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, he said the two leaders agreed to enhance bilateral relationship in all spheres. A number of decisions were taken which are now being followed up to maintain and further enhance all round bilateral cooperation, he added.

He said prime minister’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping provided a welcome opportunity to review, at the highest level, status of progress made in implementing the decisions taken during President Xi’s landmark visit to Pakistan in April 2015, with regard to China Pakistan Economic Corridor and other avenues of our multi-faceted cooperation. Pakistan and China are bonded by deep rooted ties of friendship and all weather strategic cooperative partnership, he added.

Referring to PM’s meeting with Afghan President, he said two leaders expressed satisfaction on July 7 meeting between Afghan government and Taliban. Pakistan hosted the meeting and will continue to support the peace process, he added.